A Thursday reading list

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reading through many publications and blogs, and I’ve compiled here several important, interesting or elucidating links to help you sort through the marketing and media wilderness.

FCC vs. Fox
A measured look at the U.S. Court of Appeals decision last month in a 1st Amendment case concerning FCC fines for “fleeting expletives” on television.
By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic

The court ruling against the FCC on the issue of fines for “fleeting expletives” for being unconstitutionally vague is “sensible,” Lloyd says, but since the airwaves are a licensed public trust, the content that appears on them should conform to some community standard.   

Teenagers are using Botox to look better.
In the New York Times: This teenage girl uses Botox. No she’s not alone, by Catherine Saint Louis

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says that Botox was injected into Americans ages 13 to 19 nearly 12,000 times last year, the New York Times reports: “Doctors are injecting teenagers for a variety of perceived imperfections, from a too-gummy smile to a too-square jaw.”
“In February, Phu Pham, who is 19 and lives in San Antonio, got Botox injections to narrow what he considered to be his “bodybuilder”-big jaw muscle, which he felt didn’t fit his otherwise slim face.”

An essay by a teenager at Ms. Magazine on what the real problem is:

“But here’s the thing: The epidemic that is plaguing teens is not the use of Botox or other cosmetic procedures. That is just a symptom of the disease–the disease of nonexistent self-esteem … This disease is spreading amongst my peers via a one-two punch: constant saturation with images of bodies we can never achieve, and the resulting inability to believe we have the right to love ourselves.”

Advertising in schools
School districts across the country are considering allowing corporate advertising in the schools as a way to close budget gaps.

Parents for Ethical Marketing explains why advertising in schools is a problem.

“Corporate advertising messages in schools are in a direct conflict with the purpose and goals of education. Watch Nickelodeon! while researchers and educators are trying to encourage kids to move away from screens and into books. Eat Doritos! and Drink Pepsi! while nutritionists and district food services are working desperately to teach good eating habits and stem obesity.”

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood takes a look at the types of companies that are seeking to broker ads in schools.

“A company that wants to send text message advertisements to elementary school students and a company that pretends to have a client that they don’t in order to give their predatory marketing a veneer of respectability…”

Also, see the new entry on my resources page from the Commercialization in Education Research Unit at Arizona State University on research that shows advertising in schools is harmful.

Meanwhile, the Disney Princess debate rages on.
Here, a lengthy discussion is being hosted by Derek Markham at Natural Papa:

Comment: … I will have to strike a balance between letting my daughter enjoy them for entertainment’s sake with helping her understand what messages the movies may be sending.

Comment: …Limiting access to the movies gives you the illusion that you can control which values vibe with your kids; you can’t, and why would you want to try?…

Go and take a look. You might be surprised by the range of views.

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