A full-out assault has arrived in my living room. Transformers movie tie-ins are being marketed non-stop through ads on Nickelodeon, selling everything from Burger King kids' meals to Pontiac cars. We only watch about a hour of commercial TV a day, but there are multiple ads featuring the Transformers being shown within a single commercial break. The contradiction of a violent action flick based on Hasbro toys is spelled out right in the Burger King commercial--hey kids, get your kids' meal with one of eight toys based on characters from the movie (PG-13, some material may be inappropriate for children under 13).
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has turned a spotlight on this situation but has not yet received a lot of response. Transformers star Shia LaBoeuf has said that producer Steven Spielberg fought back against a proposed R-rating. Yet the movie is being marketed to kids all the way down to the toddler years. (Opti-mash prime Mr. Potato Head, anyone?)… Read more