One Classroom Commercial

March 22, 2004
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On March 1, Channel One News ran
a commercial for Acuvue contact lens. Acuvue has been an advertiser on
C1N for the last two years. Their commercials are not subtle. A schoolchild
gets the clear message that if he or she wears glasses, then he or she
is unattractive. Acuvue plays "hardball" with the captive audience.
These ads run in middle schools as well as high schools.

Usually the ads show one person who has "discovered" Acuvue
contact lens coming back to their unfortunate friend with glasses.
He or she describes the sheer joy of wearing contacts to the sad looking
young person wearing glasses. "You hardly know they are in your
eye." The young person who wears glasses is desperate to get rid
of the glasses and rushes to the eye doctor to get Acuvue contacts.

The whole point of the ad is to make children feel bad
about themselves. That pain can be relieved by the purchase of Acuvue
brand contact lens. Parents have no idea why their middle school child
is demanding contact lens. Little do they know that their school is
pushing students to not only try contact lens, but to try a particular
brand.

This time Channel One ran a different type of commercial
for Acuvue. On March 1, students see a young woman saying her old contact
lens weren’t any good and that she tried Acuvue and loved them. The
woman in the ad is Tasha-Ray Evin. Never heard of her? Few people have.
Few students have. That is why she is taking up school time appearing
on the commercial. She is the lead singer for Lillix, a new band that
has been signed by Madonna’s Maverick Records. Her "face-time" on
the classroom TV sets is the best way to get known and to increase
sales of her band’s new CD.

As the ad for Acuvue contact lens continues, students
see this at the bottom of the screen: "Lillix ‘Quicksand’ Falling
Uphill CD." This identifies the song, and title of the CD, that
Lillix is playing during the Acuvue commercial.

Madonna
uses school time to promote her newest artists. Lillix get
to sing a song from their Maverick CD "Falling Uphill" during
a Acuvue commercial on Channel One News. This celebrity endorsement
violates Channel One’s published "news standards." Students
are made to feel ugly if they don’t wear contact lens. They
are made to feel stupid if they don’t wear Acuvue brand contact
lens.

Channel One News has a long-term
partnership with Madonna’s recording company. The in-school TV show
has been used on several occasions
to plug Madonna artists. Lillix is just the latest. Madonna has run
regular commercials for her artists on Channel One News. Madonna has
been given permission to have her artists guest host Channel One News.
Madonna and Channel One News have worked out arrangements for Channel
One’s web site (heavily promoted on the in-school TV show) to run contest
to get kids to buy more Maverick CDs. Now a clever "commercial-in-a-commercial" promotes
yet another Maverick Records artist.

Teachers don’t have the time in school to help students
understand this one commercial, much less, the multitude of commercial
messages on a Channel One News show. This type of "combo" commercial
is powerful. Students don’t have the time to critically think about
what they just saw.

"Was this an ad for Lillix or Acuvue? Or Both?" "If
both, why are they doing that?"

"Our class has seen a lot of artists advertised
that are from the same record company. If the school wants to promote
rock artists during our school time, shouldn’t we, the students, see
a variety of record companies advertised during school?"

"Why is a celebrity endorsement considered so important?"

"What did our school see in this ad that made them
approve it for the student viewing?" "Does our school endorse
the use of contact lens? Does our school endorse Acuvue contact lens
by Johnson & Johnson?" "If our school administrators
say they are not endorsing the wearing of contacts and the brand Acuvue,
then why did they show us this motivational film to encourage our purchase
of this product?"

"Our school spent 30 seconds per student today to
show us this Acuvue commercial. Is this the highest and best use of
our school time?"

"Shouldn’t our school board allow competing brands
of contact lens to come into our classrooms to give us their sales
pitch?"

"Shouldn’t the makers of eye glasses be able to
refute the claims of Acuvue?"

"Since our school administrators have gotten in
the business of promoting contact lens to our student body, shouldn’t
they invite an ophthalmologist to address us on the health concerns
of contact lens?"

Obligation’s Jim Metrock said, "The insanity continues.
Schools endorse the products they advertise to students. No school
that is serious about education can have Channel One News in their
building. When you see a Channel One satellite dish on top of a school,
it is nothing more than a dunce cap signifying that this school is
run by administrators who don’t know the value of tax money and don’t
understand they have betrayed students by converting school time into
marketing time. Public schools shouldn’t be helping Madonna sell more
records to students. A school that advertises a health-related product,
like contact lens, to schoolchildren is asking for trouble."

++++++++++++

Note: Ken McNatt, famed Channel One critic in Pennsylvania,
brought to our attention that Channel One News allowed Lillix to guest
host the November 6, 2003 show. On that show, they pushed their new
album. C1N played several Lillix songs on the show. (Keep in mind that
Channel One never, EVER, asked for, or got, permission from schools
to promote music acts during the "current events" show.)
Here is some of the script:

[HELLOS]
[AIRDATE=11/06/03]
[PRO=ENAS]
[TALENT=DERRICK & LILLIX]
DERRICK: HEY GUYS, WHAT’S GOING ON? I AM DERRICK SHORE AND THE MUSIC
WE’VE BEEN LISTENING TO COMES COURTESY OF THE BASEMENT-BAND-TURNED-VERY-BIG,
LILLIX.
HOW YOU GUYS DOING? THANKS FOR THE SAMPLING OF YOUR NEW HIT – TOMORROW…
IT’S GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE TODAY.

LACEY-LEE: VERY GOOD, THANK YOU. THANKS FOR HAVING US.

DERRICK: GOOD. THAT WAS A LITTLE SNIPPET OF YOUR NEW
SONG, UH, ‘TOMORROW’, CORRECT?

LACEY-LEE: YES IT WAS.

DERRICK: BUT WE WILL HEAR MORE OF THEIR MUSIC THROUGHOUT
TODAY’S SHOW, BUT I WANT TO INTRODUCE ALL OF YOU FIRST. THIS IS LOUISE
RIGHT HERE, TASHA-RAY, LACEY-LEE, AND KIM DOWN AT THE END. AND WHY
DON’T YOU ALL TAKE IT AWAY.

LOUISE: IT IS THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6TH, AND YOU’RE WATCHING
CHANNEL ONE NEWS.

At the end of the show:

[GOODNIGHT]
[AIRDATE=11/06/03]
[PRO=ENAS]
[TALENT=DERRICK & LILLIX]

DERRICK: ALL RIGHT. WELL WE ARE JUST ABOUT OUT OF TIME. DID YOU ALL HAVE
FUN TIME?

LILLIX: YEAH!

DERRICK: GOOD, VERY NICE. BEFORE WE HEAD OUT, WHY DON’T
YOU TELL US WHAT’S BEEN KEEPING YOU BUSY LATELY.

LOUISE: WELL, WE JUST GOT BACK FROM OUR FIRST TRIP TO
JAPAN WHERE OUR RECORD RECENTLY WENT GOLD, SO THAT WAS, THAT WAS A
GOOD TIME OVER THERE. AND, UH, WE’RE ON THE ‘GIRLS GARAGE TOUR’ RIGHT
NOW.

DERRICK: BIG NEWS. CONGRATS ON GOING GOLD. THAT’S HUGE.

LINNIX: THANK YOU.

DERRICK: AND THE BAND IS LEAVING BEHIND THIS AUTOGRAPHED
GUITAR FOR A CHANNEL ONE VIEWER TO WIN, SO IF YOU WOULD LIKE YOUR CHANCES,
GOT TO CHANNELONE.COM AND CLICK ON "LILLIX" TO ENTER. AND
WE GOTTA GO. WE’LL SEE YOU GUYS BACK HERE TOMORROW.

LILLIX: BYE.

You can almost hear Madonna laughing her head off. "Stupid, public
schools. If you’re dumb enough to let music acts sell their music during
school time, then I’ll make the most of it." Madonna owns Maverick
Records and Maverick needs Lillix to sell a lot of CDs. Madonna has a
lot of money invested in this Canadian band and she will use Channel
One News to make this band big. Who cares if the students lose some school
time?

Thanks to Ken McNatt