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Child Advocates Call for Advertising Awareness

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RALEIGH — You've seen the ads on television and in magazines - young children in what some call sexually suggestive poses. Agroup of North Carolina doctors and child advocates say the ads are hurting our kids and they're doing something about it.

The Pediatric Society says children and young people used in the ads are at risk, and the message the ads convey putsallkids at risk.

Starting today, Dr. Denise Everette and other North Carolinapediatricians are behind a campaign againstwhat they say is sexual exploitation of children in those ads."After a while they become acceptable. Society becomesde-sensitized to what otherwise should be very concerning.And that's another reason why we really want to increase awareness ofthis problem."

Anyone who reads fashion magazines has seen the ads. Psychiatrist Dr.Linnea Smith says the "Let Kids be Kids Campaign" asks adults touse theirconsumer powers to fight what are seen as sexually exploitive ads."That's a real plus in a democracy, to choose to use theirconsumer power and to support those corporations that are sociallyresponsible and depict children in age-appropriate, non-sexual, healthyways."Advertisers and advertising agencies are a powerful group. Dr. RobertSchrag, a media expert atN.C. StateUniversity, says this statewidecampaign, and similar ones nationally, could make them rethink their useof children and young people."Advertisers will do whatever they want to do to sell aproduct, what they think they have to do to sell a product, once a messagecauses more problems for them, than it garners profits, they will changethe message."

The Pediatric Society says people concerned about the issue should supportcompanies that use non-sexual advertising.

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