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Marketing to Kids

How do I report inappropriate commercials that run during kids' shows?

You should definitely report it to your cable provider. And make sure you complain every time it happens. Also submit your complaint to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are the only agencies with the authority to take action against the broadcast of inappropriate commercials. And while you'll need to be patient to get results, it really pays to make your voice heard. It was FCC consumer complaints that led to the ban on loud commercials.

Here are a few more options:

Take to social media. If you feel comfortable, you can voice your concerns on Facebook, Twitter, or even your personal blog. These outlets are emerging as legitimate soapboxes to air complaints. Companies do pay attention.

Use this as a teachable moment. Help your kids think critically about ads by dissecting the commercials' claims and promises. You can even laugh about the more ridiculous and outlandish ploys. Your kids will probably enjoy trying to spot advertisers' tricks in other advertising, too.

Get your kids involved. Visit's Don't Buy It for more thought-provoking activities and ideas about getting media-smart.

Watch pre-recorded shows. Use your DVR, subscribe to Netflix, create a playlist on YouTube, or find other options to select and record programs for your kids and fast-forward through the commercials.