HELL'S PLAYGROUND?

Earlier, we speculated in this space about what Frank Gehry might have to contribute to the field of playground design, other than perhaps millions of dollars in cost overruns and shiny titanium surfaces that may burn holes in toddlers' heads on clear, sunny days. In a New York Sun piece this week about elite architects taking on slide-and-swing commissions, local architect and playground authority Richard Dattner opines:

"The jury is out on all of this, and the jury is the kids. . . Starchitects are very good at the grand dramatic gesture that has everyone gasping but it may or may not work as a kids environment. If a kid gets impaled on the sharp edges of some Zaha Hadid-designed playground architecture, well, it won't be quite a successful environment."

Funny!

CHANNEL ONE-TOO-MANY

In Advertising Age, ubiquitous media commentator Simon Dumenco looks at Channel One's recent content deal with NBC News, which will probably, and unfortunately, save the floundering in-classroom news service (now owned by Alloy) from oblivion, and we couldn't agree more with his basic thesis: Who cares where Channel One gets its content? It still forces students to watch two minutes of commercials each day on school time:

. . . [S]ince the start, controversy over the two minutes of commercials (within a 12-minute daily broadcast) has roiled the network . . . . [I]t's faced on and off bans in various school districts and entire states, including New York, California and Rhode Island.

. . . . Today's teens, of course, grew up in a culture hypersaturated with advertising, and many are virtual walking billboards for brands themselves. So what's the big deal, right? . . . . Well, no. There are plenty of other avenues for marketers to reach teens effectively on their own time . . . . Advertising on Channel One seems like asking for trouble.

Anyone who's ever seen a complete Channel One broadcast in a classroom, as I have [and as FD has] knows how truly weird and disturbing it is to see ads for Snickers, Clearasil, Gatorade, Taco Bell and the Army -- all of which have been among Channel One's biggest advertisers -- in an educational context.

No matter how you spin it, you can't ever escape the feeling of, This ain't right.

RECALLS! WE GET RECALLS! WE GET LOTS AND LOTS OF RECALLS! RE-CALLS!

Hasbro's Easy-Bake Oven is being called back to the shop for the second time in a year, as girls are still getting their hands caught, and burned, in the oven's opening:

Since the February announcement, the company has received an additional 249 reports of children getting their hands or fingers caught in the ovens, including 16 reports of second- and third-degree burns. One burn required partial amputation of a 5-year-old girl’s finger.

Meanwhile, Gerber's organic rice and oatmeal cereal is being recalled because of a risk babies might choke on the product, a spokesman said on Monday. Apparently, the cereal's too lumpy. No, really.

July 20, 2007 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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