Congratulations to children’s performer Raffi, the 2006 recipient of The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood’s “Fred Rogers Integrity Award”.
Named for the host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the award honors a public figure whose efforts to protect children from harmful marketing best embody Mr. Rogers’ long-standing commitment to nurturing the health and well-being of America’s children.
Raffi steadfastly refuses all commercial endorsement offers, and his company never directly markets to children. He is a passionate advocate for a child’s right to live free of commercial exploitation. In 2000, he wrote an excellent article for the Globe and Mail newspaper in which he justified his decision to pull out of a major children’s festival because he felt it had become too commercialized. In the letter he said:
Advertising aimed at children is so prevalent in our lives that many people think it’s okay. But child-development experts for years have said that ads on kids’ TV shows, for example, constitute an unfair assault on impressionable minds that aren’t old enough to appraise the sales pitch. And yet, every day, with the help of psychologists, big businesses wage media campaigns that target children from birth as consumers. We need to understand that this serves no one. It’s wrong, and it must stop.
If you are not familiar with Raffi, he is a wonderful kids performer. His CD Baby Beluga is definitely in The Girl’s All Time Top 10 list and in high rotation on our CD player.