For kids, non-family-friendly commercials fill TV

Rebekah Werner
Guest Writer

It is becoming increasingly difficult to watch TV with my family. We turn the television on and find a nice kid-friendly show to watch before 8 p.m. Soon it is time for a commercial break and a non- family- friendly commercial comes on.

I think only appropriate commercials should be played during family friendly shows.

A few nights ago, I watched a family-friendly show and a non-family friendly commercial came on and my mom had to shut it off. To make sure that it was OK to watch again, we kept it off a little longer than we should have and we missed the part of the show that we wanted to see in the first place!

I found this very aggravating and then I realized that this is not the first time this has happened.

Many times bad commercials of movie or show previews had ruined our family TV time. Once again topics children should know nothing about had come on during a family-friendly show.

According to the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, networks Nick, NickToons, Disney XD, and Cartoon Network all show inappropriate PG-13 previews for movies. By these networks, Iron Man 2 commercials have been played 2,006 times. Transformers have been played 2,346 times, Star Trek movie commercials 1,261 times and G.I. Joe 1,756 times.

The CCFC wrote a letter of complaint to the Federal Trade Commission stating this information. The FTC was equally concerned and responded back by saying: “ … The Commission made it clear that it views the marketing of these films directly to young children as an ‘end run’ around the parental review role underlying the ratings. Despite urging from the Commission staff, neither the Motion Picture Association of America nor the individual movie studios have taken adequate steps to ensure that violent PG-13 movies are not marketed in a manner inconsistent with the rating ….”

I found it comforting to know that there are other people as concerned about this as I.

As you can see from the numbers above, it is apparent that the MPAA and the networks do not feel this is a problem and they feel they can market whatever they want, to whomever they want, whenever they want. They feel that it should be up to the parents to monitor and decide what their children should and can watch. In response to this debate, one of the moms I interviewed said that “there is some parental responsibility, but the networks should tell the advertisers that only child-friendly commercials can be put on during family-friendly shows.”

I believe this issue is going to continue unless the government agencies, parents, and other concerned groups put more pressure on the networks to change.

So you see, we should be doing more to help defeat this issue. To fully diminish this happening, we as a country should contact these networks and the MPAA.

Perhaps if more people address this problem, they will take it to heart and stop this from happening again. We need to protect the future generations, because images cannot be taken out of one’s mind. Together we can make sure that only appropriate commercials are played during family-friendly shows.

— The writer, age 10, lives in Forest Lake and is a Grade 5 student at Minnesota Virtual Academy. Amy Sollie is her teacher for this editorial writing project.