In a world that offers DVR, TiVo, and any number of ways to avoid commercials, companies struggle to find a captive audience for their ads. One channel in particular, though, offers exactly that. In addition, the audience this network provides just happens to be the most sought after demographic of all: children.
What is this channel, and how does it coerce its viewers into watching its advertisers’ commercials? It’s called Channel One and has been shown in classrooms across the nation since 1990.
I remember the channel from my school days, and, as one might imagine, most students consider watching television in school an event to be cherished. There’s no fast-forwarding through Channel One’s commercial breaks, either, and since the “news” program is typically shown in the morning, most of the kids have not yet fallen asleep on their desks.
Studies indicated, perhaps unsurprisingly, that students recalled ads on Channel One in more detail than they did the actual programs shown.
To make matters worse, one nonprofit group is levying a complaint, urging schools to stop broadcasting the network because of inappropriate ads for things such as psychic services and a website recalling such “reader confessions” as “My BF’s mom caught me giving him oral sex!”
There are websites dedicated to sharing the nonsense shown to students through this abysmal network, along with complete programs including the commercials (which are deleted for the version Channel One shows interested parents.)
The Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood complaint states “one full day of instructional time is lost each year just to Channel One’s commercials.” I understand the lefties in charge of many of the nation’s classrooms would probably do more damage to young minds than any objectionable ad shown by the network, but the fact that these products are force-fed to the next generation of consumers and hidden from their parents should be enough to concern anyone.
Lest you think the news portion of the network is any more appropriate, there are plenty of examples of ludicrous broadcasts such as one seemingly encouraging middle school kids to push for a lower drinking age.
Much has been done to help parents recognize and combat ads blatantly aimed at kids, though when they’re in government-mandated liberal indoctrination camps (otherwise known as public schools), parents are completely at the mercy of Channel One.
Photo credit: calaggie (Creative Commons)