Elmo Pushes Pizza! Hey, Sesame Workshop and Co. Stop Counting Kids Dollars

CNN Money reports that Elmo will soon by promoting pizza. A new toy via Mattel will be “an Elmo doll holding a pizza, and the pizza talks and sings along with Elmo. The toy is expected to retail for $19.99.”

We think the folks at Sesame Workshop need to rethink what “Elmo’s World” should be like. Is it one that further commercializes childhood and pushes junk food, all to help bolster the Workshop’s bottom line? Shouldn’t companies that benefit from federal funding and public television distribution adhere to some higher level of conduct? Licensing of Elmo and other public broadcasting related products for children require a serious set of federal and PBS safeguards. We hope Gary Knell and company listen. Congress surely should, as it considers public broadcasting (PBS) funding.

Author: jeff

Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. A former journalist and filmmaker, Jeff's book on U.S. electronic media politics, entitled "Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy" was published by The New Press in January 2007. He is now working on a new book about interactive advertising and the public interest.

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