Watchdog Group Wants Ads Out of Webkinz

The Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood (CCFC) is targeting Webkinz, a popular online destination for children which combines real-world toys and virtual play.

A CCFC press release issued this morning demands that the Webkinz site remove ads for third-party products. According to the Boston-based group, Webkinz began integrating ads into its virtual world in October.

A current Webkinz campaign is promoting the film Alvin and the Chipmunks (screen shot at left), while similar ads ran for the recent Bee Movie. Susan Linn, CCFC director, said:

One of the reasons parents purchase Webkinz is the expectation that the website will be free of advertising.  It is disappointing that Webkinz is choosing to maximize profits at the expense of parents’ trust.

[Webkinz corporate owner] Ganz was already walking a fine line since the site is really designed to sell more Webkinz. But adding immersive advertising for other products is all about greed.

CCFC is initiating a letter-writing campaign to Webkinz management in an effort to have the advertising pulled.

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