About Us

Commercial Alert is a non-profit organization established under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. tax code. In 2011, Commercial Alert became a project of Public Citizen. Our mission is to keep the commercial culture within its proper sphere, and to prevent it from exploiting children and subverting the higher values of family, community, environmental integrity and democracy.


Robert Weissman, managing director

Robert Weissman is the president of Public Citizen. Previously, he was editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Multinational Monitor, and director of Essential Action, a corporate accountability group. He co-authored Corporate Predators: The Hunt For Mega-Profits and the Attack on Democracy and On the Rampage: Corporate Predators and the Destruction of Democracy (both by Common Courage Press). He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Robert's email address is (rweissman@citizen.org)

Kristen Strader, Campaign Coordinator

Kristen Strader is the Campaign Coordinator for Public Citizen's Commercial Alert. She previously worked as a community organizer for Power in Dirt, assisting residents in growing their own food and adopting sustainable practices. Kristen received a MPP from American University where she focused on social justice and sustainability issues related to food insecurity. Kristen's email address is (kstrader@citizen.org)

Board of Advisors

Brita Butler-Wall, Ph.D. is a member of Commercial Alert's board of directors. She is former president of the Seattle School Board, and co-founder and director of the statewide Citizens' Campaign for Commercial-Free Schools — a nonprofit organization that succeeded in removing Channel One and most commercial activities from Seattle schools. Once on the school board, she banned soda contracts and removed junk food from all 100 schools.

Raffi Cavoukian, C.M., D.Mus. is a singer, songwriter, author and ecology advocate. He is founder of Child Honoring. You can keep track of Raffi's latest at RaffiNews.

John Taylor Gatto is former teacher, winner of the New York State Teacher of the Year award, and three-time winner of the New York City Teacher of the Year award. He is the author of The Underground History Of American Education, Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, The Exhausted School, and A Different Kind of Teacher.

Rev. Tom Grey is executive director of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling. Before becoming a United Methodist minister, Grey served as a U.S. Army infantry officer fighting in Vietnam. He graduated from Dartmouth College and the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and served as pastor for four churches, including one congregation made up of members of four denominations, (Presbyterian, United Methodist, Disciples of Christ, and United Church of Christ).

Jim Metrock is president of Obligation, Inc., which reminds businesses and governments of their responsibilities to children.

Ralph Nader is a co-founder of Commercial Alert and the chair of Commercial Alert's advisory board.

Peggy O'Mara is the chair of Commercial Alert's board of directors. She has been editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine since 1980. She is the author of Mothering Magazine's Having a Baby, Naturally: The Mothering Magazine Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and Natural Family Living: The Mothering Magazine Guide to Parenting (with Jane McConnell).

Jonathan Rowe is a writer, contributing editor to The Washington Monthly, and a founder of the Tomales Bay Institute. He is co-author of Time Dollars: The New Currency That Enables Americans to Turn Their Hidden Resource -- Time -- Into Personal Security & Community Renewal (with Edgar S. Cahn.) You can read his blog here.

Gary Ruskin was co-founder and executive director of Commercial Alert. He sits on Commercial Alert's board of directors. He is also director of the Congressional Accountability Project, which opposes corruption in the U. S. Congress.

Juliet Schor, Ph.D. is a member of Commercial Alert's board of directors. She is a professor of sociology at Boston College, and author of Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture, The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need, The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure, and Do Americans Shop Too Much? She is the editor of The Consumer Society Reader.

Sam Smith is a member of Commercial Alert's board of directors. He is editor and publisher of the Progressive Review. He is the author of Why Bother? Getting a Life in a Locked-Down Land; Sam Smith's Great American Political Repair Manual; Shadows of Hope: A Practitioner's Guide to Politics in the Age of Clinton; and Captive Capital: Colonial Life in Modern Washington.


We want to thank our friends at SolutionSet & Method for all their hard work in creating this website:
Alex Kaplinsky and Frank Anan — Guidance, Generosity and Good Cheer
Johan Sjöstrand — Design, Frontend, Information Architecture and Fine Swedish Humor
Dax Lee & Sebastian Pettersson — Development and Grace Under Pressure
Robert Murdock & Baykal Askar — Logotype and Stationeries