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Shooting Marbles

Academics picketed the Golden Marble Awards, which honor the best in children's advertising, last Thursday in New York. "It's wrong to reward creativity when it is used to manipulate children," said organizer Susan Linn, Ed.D, Harvard Medical School.

Among picketers' demands are a White House conference on the effects of marketing on children; funding from the National Institute of Health for research on the consequences of marketing to children; a ban on advertising harmful products to children; federal regulation of toy-based marketing practices; uniform age-based ratings for TV; and making schools advertising-free zones.

This protest came on the heels of a report published by Statistical Research Inc. that found almost half of all children ages 8 to 17 have no adult governing their TV viewing. "Parents have to be responsible too," said Shelley Middlebrook, senior VP and group publisher of Brunico Communications Inc., which created the Golden Marble Awards.