NEWS RELEASE
For More Information Contact: Robert Weissman (202) 588-7746
For Immediate Release: April 30th, 2009

Commercial Alert Response to Hasbro-Discovery Channel Joint Venture

COMMERCIAL ALERT RESPONSE TO HASBRO-DISCOVERY CHANNEL JOINT VENTURE

Robert Weissman, managing director of Commercial Alert, issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement of a new Hasbro-Discovery Channel joint venture:

The Hasbro-Discovery Channel joint venture sounds like nothing more than a scheme to deliver program-length advertisements to children over television and advertisements disguised as interactive games over the Internet.

The problems with advertising to children are familiar, and qualitatively different than advertising issues involving adults: Children cannot distinguish between ads and programming. To make programming itself into a full-length disguised advertisement is pure exploitation of children for commercial gain, nothing more and nothing less.

We will ask federal regulators to investigate whether the joint venture’s plans are as nefarious as they sound in today’s press release, and to take appropriate preemptive action to block plans to exploit children.

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