May 24th, 2012
PBS Deserves Tons of Awards, but Not for Selling Kids on Chick-fil-A
By Susan Linn
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Public Citizen, and Corporate Accountability International have launched a campaign urging PBS to end a four-year marketing agreement between the popular children’s show Martha Speaks and the fast food chain Chick-fil-A. The multi-pronged promotion, whose stated goals include to “reach children” and “drive brand preference and restaurant traffic,” includes 15-second ads for Chick-fil-A before and after Martha Speaks TV episodes, advertising on PBS Kids, and in-store giveaways at more than 1600 Chick-fil-A locations. In 2011, an astounding 56 million Chick-fil-A Kids’ Meals were distributed in Martha Speaks co-branded bags, and PBS executives refuse to say what promotions they have planned for the 30 months left in the promotion.