Channel One Urged To Drop Soft Drink Commercials

March 14, 2001

ALIGN=”LEFT” BORDER=”0″ NATURALSIZEFLAG=”3″>March 14, 2001 (Birmingham, AL) Obligation,
Inc., a Birmingham, AL-based child advocacy organization, called on the controversial
in-school marketing company, Channel One, to stop airing any commercials
for soft drinks to its captive audience of schoolchildren (ages 11-18).

According to Channel One, over 8 million schoolchildren,
between the ages of 11-18, are under contract to their company. Channel One
loans schools TV equipment in exchange for a promise that 80% of all classrooms
show their daily 13-minute news and features program that contains two minutes
of commercials. PepsiCo has been a major advertiser since at least 1996.
Channel One states in sales literature that it can deliver “the undivided
attention” of its young audience to any commercial message.

Obligation president, Jim Metrock said, “It is absurd
for schools to be telling students to drink more sugar and caffeine-loaded
soft drinks when we have such a obesity crisis in this age group. Channel
One has been the ‘stealth’ vehicle for PepsiCo to market its products
to children.”

Metrock said, “Channel One recently ran a Pepsi commercial
which cross-promoted the explicit-lyrics rapper Sisqo. Pepsi and Mt. Dew
commercials blare away in classrooms and parents have no idea this is going
on. These ads are powerful. They try to manipulate children, who cannot easily
avoid the ads, into being soft drink consumers for life.”

The Coca-Cola Company announced today that they will reconsider
how they market their products in America’s schools.