What advertisements really tick you off?

Partially because I’m feeling a little bit stupid that I actually named a post “This is a really good post,” I’m turning the crux of this post over to you, my readers who have proved yourselves wise many times over.

Some of you know that I am working on a project that I feel really strongly about called the “Protecting Innocence Project.”  (This might help if you feel out of the loop.)  You probably thought it was on hold or that I totally dropped the ball, but it’s actually still in full-force behind the scenes.  There’s been a huge effort in gathering research and exchanging information among a fabulous team of volunteers, and my brother-in-law has been an invaluable help in the design and functionality of the site.  It’s a bigger undertaking then I orginally expected, but I think it will be FANtastic when all is said and done.

A couple people (thanks Laurie and Tenille!) have helped me compile a list of some frequent offenders in the makes-ads-that-are-inappropriate-for-children category, usually because their advertisements are obscene, suggestive, profane, disrespectful, or downright pornographic.  We have also gathered contact information for these companies so that we can speak out and complain when we don’t like the kind of media they parade before our children’s eyes.

Can you think of anyone else we should add to this list?  What are some companies that need to be made aware that their advertisements are inappropriate?  Please consider television, radio, print media (including magazines, billboards,  and store window displays), on-line ads, or any other medium you can think of.

If you have any companies to add, please share them in the comments, and if you’re feeling super ambitious and can track down contact information (including address, phone number, and/or email) where complaints could be submitted, it would be great if you could include that as well.

BKNick1Abercrombie and Fitch
American Apparel
American Eagle
Anheuser-Busch
Armani
Axe Body Spray
BMW
Boost Mobile
Burger King
Calvin Klein
Cialis
Cosmopolitan Magazine
Dove
Dr. Scholl’s
godaddy.com
Gossip girl
Hardee’s/ Carl’s Jr
Heineken
Herbal Essence
Hooters
Jimmy Choos
Joe Boxer
Levi’s
Levitra
Lifestyle’s Skyn Condoms
Marc Jacobs Clothing Designer
Nike
Schick Razors
Seventeen Magazine
Tampax
The Gap
The Limited
Tommy Hilfiger
Veet
Venus Clothing
Venus Razor (Gillette)
Viagra
Victoria’s Secret
Virgin Records
Vogue
Wrangler

Thanks so much.  And start gathering up all your courage to speak out more often when you come across inappropriate media, because Protecting Innocence Project will make it a lot easier for you to do.   Watch out smut lords, here comes an army of mama bears!

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Small victory: Power to the people!

I empowered myself today at the checkout of the grocery store.  I had Clark and Natalie with me and as we checked out, this lovely piece of literature was right at the level of my waist (in other words, right at Clark’s eye level).

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I edited it for you a little.  You’re welcome. Then the same thing happened that always happens:  I got annoyed.  Then I remembered DeNae and how she became like a Las Vegas Lysol wipe.  (Put that on your resume, DeNae.)  I also thought that since I’m spending so much time on this Protecting Innocence Project*, I’d better walk the walk.  So I asked the lady at the checkout to call over the manager.

I introduced myself and then said, “I shop here a lot, but I have a concern.  Some of these magazine covers are inappropriate.  You can see that they are right here at my son’s eye level.  And he can read.  I don’t know if you’ve ever had a five-year-old, but I think you’d agree that this (pointing right at the headlines) isn’t something he needs to see.  What I would like is for them to be moved out of a child’s line of vision like the tobacco products or covered up.  I’m just asking for a little discernment about what is placed at a child’s eye level.”

He nodded in agreement because, really, you don’t have to be a preacher to know that “BAD GIRL es-ee-ex” (I’m trying to avoid the wrong kind of Google hits) is not a headline for a kindergartener.  He agreed that they would cover up all of their Cosmopolitan magazines with a black shield.  It just so happened that the magazine rep/distributor was there and he called her over and asked her to please cover them up every time she restocks the racks.  And that was it.  I thanked him, gathered up my groceries and my imaginary weapons of motherhood, and we were on our way.

It was that simple.

So arm yourselves, moms.  It’s not nearly as hard or as embarrassing as we think it might be.  The checkout lady said to me, “I’m sixty-nine years old and even I think it’s raunchy.”

And if the manager blows you off, get an address for whomever he reports to, and mail a letter like Captain DeNae did.  Fight on, sisters, fight on!

*The Protecting Innocence Project is getting closer and closer to launch.  Check out this draft of one of the logos (we’ve altered the shield a little to make it more obvious.)

ProtectingInnocence_logo

When it’s all up and ready, I really hope you’ll help me publicize it because it’s going to ROCK.  Think form letters and contact information to make it easy for moms to complain, alert forums where we can get more voices to speak out against offensive material, tons of research, resources and links to organizations that promote the cause of protecting children from inappropriate media.  I’m telling you, the devil is NOT going to like this site.  🙂

Thank you, my battle friends.

pip logo

I was a little overwhelmed by all the feedback I got about PIP (my Protecting Innocence Project). Your willingness to stand up for this issue was exhilarating.  I just wanted to let you know that now that I have an army to work with, I am trying to organize my big to-do list into several little projects that I can divide up among you.  If you specifically stated in your comment that you wanted to help out with PIP, watch for an email from me within the next week or so with a specific request.  There are no obligations here.  If it doesn’t seem a good fit for you, feel free to hand it back and we’ll find another task.  Thanks again, blog friends.  You’ve done me proud.  It feels good to be counted among good people with good hearts and marching feet to match.

“I truly believe that one virtuous young woman or young man, led by the Spirit, can change the world, but in order to do so, we must return to virtue. . . . I testify that we will be enabled and strengthened not only to do hard things but to do all things. Now is the time for each of us to arise and unfurl a banner to the world calling for a return to virtue.”Elaine S. Dalton

(Image credit)

Diagnostics.

kidneyEarly this morning I took Natalie to the Children’s Hospital for a kindney ultrasound.  She was pretty nervous because of all the invasive testing she had done a couple weeks ago when they were diagnosing her UTI.  I assured her that nothing would go in her nose or throat or poke her fingers.  She settled down and did a great job.  Everything was normal.

It was pretty fascinating watching the ultrasound.  Did you know your kidneys are all the way up under your rib cage toward the back?  I seriously always pictured them much further down in the “loins” region.  Anyway, I thought it was such a cool concept that we can take a close look inside ourselves, and and an expert can tell us if all is well or if there’s something that’s cause for concern.  (btw, This graphic is just pulled from an Orlando Clinic I found on Google Images.)

Anyway, I thought to myself on the way home that personal prayer is kind of like our own spiritual diagnostics.  We can look carefully inside ourselves and take inventory of what’s going well and what’s not and then take it all before our Heavenly Father and let him diagnose us, counsel us, and ultimately heal us.  The concept is actually quite cool, even more miraculous than the fact we can see our own guts on a computer screen.  I thought how much I probably put my spiritual health in jeopardy by failing to do daily diagnostics with the Lord.  It made me want to be better at it … again.  (Do you think I’ll really get it someday?)  When I do remember to say my “formal” personal prayers (not the frequent God conversations I have in my heart throughout the day), it’s very robotic and not nearly as penitent as it should be.  At the end of each day, if I took the time to think about it, there are probably many blips or irregularities on my spiritual ultrasound.  I need to discuss those with my Heavenly Father every day and clean that stuff up.  I bet that would make each morning a whole new birth, in a sense.  A fresh, clean start.  Literally.

And isn’t it interesting that something so scientific and medical could give me insight so spiritual and personal?

Here’s my sweet Natalie hugging the teddy bear they gave her after her little procedure.  If I can get my spirit half as bright as hers, I’ll be in good shape, I tell ya.

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Post script: I have to say I was genuinely surprised by the “controversy” that popped up in yesterday’s comment thread.  Let’s not argue about if one way of fighting pornography is better than another way; we’re all on the SAME TEAM for heaven’s sake.  The purpose of the post was simply to say:  I have a new project I feel inspired to do.  Would anyone like to help me out? Thank you to all of you who make efforts inside and outside of your homes to protect your children from what President Hinckley accurately called a “pernicious evil.”  To those of you who offered up some help,  I will contact you soon with some direction.  (And thank you so much.)   I’d be happy to add on any other team members along the way.  I firmly believe that if we can all do some part, in our own best way, to fight pornography or any form of inappropriate media, we will make a difference.

I need your help with a war. Honestly.

I don’t know if you ever get an idea in your head that will not go away.  I have learned that this is one of the ways that God talks to me:  repetitive, unceasing thoughts to act.  Let me break it down for you.

What?:  Ever since I watched the Super Bowl (what was that? like 7 months ago?), I have wanted to do something to influence what kind of programming is acceptable for children.  My rage was ignited by Victoria’s Secret ads (soft porn!) and a 3-D half-time ad that included some kind of bed-crawling vixen.  I was infuriated that it was a daytime program with many obviously young and adolescent viewers, especially boys.  Since then I have been constantly aware of (and annoyed by) the onslaught of inappropriate advertisements and programming that are too easily accessible to— and even targeted at— children.

Why?:  If you remember from my post about Sister Julie Beck’s recent Women’s Conference talk, she challenged us women to “Fight!” against pornography.  When we do nothing more than shake our heads at it, we can’t change anything.  Together, though, I think we can make a difference.

How?:  So my idea that was born back in January and has been fueled by promptings and reminders over the past several months is a website that would give moms all the tools they need to file formal complaints when children are exposed to inappropriate media– A place where they can point and click and submit their complaints as well as find templates of letters they can use and customize to voice their concerns.  I have called it the “Protecting Innocence Project” and it is currently being hosted (in all it’s super-rough-draft glory) here.

You?:  It occurred to me that my friends and readers could be a great resource to me in getting this whole thing up and running.  Here are some things I need:

  1. Addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses from all the major networks that could be used to file a formal complaint about programming and advertising.  (This is harder to find than it should be.)
  2. Someone who is knowledgeable enough to help me create “complaint” forms that moms could fill out online, and then they would be automatically sent to the target emails (networks, FCC, etc.)
  3. A collection of other sites, resources, and programs that are related to the fight against pornography and inappropriate media.  I’d like to create a reference list that helps people find this stuff more easily.
  4. Once the site is up and running, I’d love for people to help publicize it among friends, blogs, communities, even newspapers and local news where feasible.  Please don’t send anyone there yet because it’s just bare-bones minimum so far.
  5. Things like buttons and banners would be helpful (the online version, I mean).  I don’t really know how to create stuff like that other than turning an existing graphic into a hot link.

Anyway, this is just a plea to those of you who frequent this blog and find yourself sympathetic to this cause.  If you think you could help out with any of the aforementioned needs, let me know in the comments what you’re interested in/willing to help out with.  I’ll get back to you with a specific assignment (something as simple as researching out contact information for NBC).

Care to join me in this battle ladies?  I think we can do ourselves and our children proud.

us-army-female-soldiers