Television and ads
After some hesitation, I’ve accepted the blogad that you’ll see on the side of this post, from something called the Smart Television Alliance. According to their website, it’s a coalition of nonprofits "united by a shared commitment to improving what our nation’s children see on television." That sounds like a decent goal. So why the hesitation?
Well, the site does have some useful information, although I think they’re out of their minds in suggesting that Harry Potter might be appropriate for the 3-6 year old crowd. But my main concern is that the site is also an ad in disguise, for TiVo, which is sponsoring the alliance. I generally dislike ads that are pretending to be something else. But, that said, I do believe that TiVo is a terrific tool for parents who want to control what their kids watch, and have so said so repeatedly on this site in the past. It lets us zap out commercials, it lets us show kid-friendly fare at times of our choice, and it lets us save the kid-inappropriate stuff for when they’re safe in bed.
Coming from our little ad-free world, it was a real shock to be visiting my parents Columbus Day weekend and to encounter all the commercials in the baseball games. (Although merseydotes says it’s better than the football games.) Since D doesn’t see commercials all the time, he was fascinated by them. I kept on reminding him that they were ads by asking him what they were selling. (Best answer, in response to a Marine recruiting ad, "uh… war?")
In related news, I just got a copy of Lisa Guernsey’s new book on tv and kids, Into the Minds of Babes. Review coming when I get a chance.