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Romney: ‘Big Bird is going to have advertisements’

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If Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has his way then toddlers could be getting a dose of fast food advertising with their Bert and Ernie.

During a campaign event in Clinton, Iowa Wednesday, the former Massachusetts governor told supporters that there were a number of things he would do to balance the budget.

“One is to stop certain programs,” he explained. “Stop them. Close them. Turn them off. Even some you like.”

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“You might say, ‘I like the National Endowment for the Arts.’ I do,” he continued. “I like PBS. We subsidize PBS. Look, I’m going to stop that. I’m going to say that PBS is going to have to have advertisement.”

“We’re not going to kill Big Bird, but Big Bird is going to have advertisements, alright?”

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind the PBS children’s show Sesame Street, says that the program was designed for children between the ages of 2 and 5, but is increasingly being watched by kids under the age of 2.

As of 2009, nearly 77 million Americans had watched Sesame Street as children.

In the late 1970s, the Federal Trade Commission determined that advertising to children under the age of 6 was unfair and deceptive. Research has also shown that children under the age of 8 have no defenses against advertising and often take advertising claims at face value.

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Some countries like Sweden and Norway ban all advertising directed at children under 12, while other countries such as the United Kingdom, Greece, Denmark and Belgium place restrictions on advertising.

Watch this video from CNN, uploaded Dec. 28, 2011.

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(H/T: Talking Points Memo)

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