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Making the Sell a Little Less Hard

June 09, 1995|CONNIE KOENENN

While not advocating a ban on advertising and commerce, the authors of "Marketing Madness" do think it's time for consumers to draw a line.

"Like air pollution and acid rain, commercialism has crossed the threshold into the danger zone, and it is time to consider remedial action," they write.

Their book, intended as a consumer guide, offers ways to fight back and resource groups. Some examples:

* If an ad campaign offends you, contact the manufacturer and boycott the product.

* If you oppose tobacco and alcohol sponsorship of sports, write to the team.

* Support the Public Broadcasting System and National Public Radio.

* Don't just sit there if you dislike advertising run before the movie you paid to see. Boo loudly and complain to the manager. * Talk about ads with your kids and help them understand the difference between the products being sold and the advertising hype.

* If your children's school is using Channel One, talk to the teachers about an alternative: CNN produces a free, ad-less news program for use in schools.

* Turn off the tube.

"I think the best protection against commercialism for kids and for adults is to create a rich life for yourself," says Michael Jacobson. "Parents need to realize that real life is not found in a shopping mall. It is being involved with the church or local community groups, it is having family activities where you do things together.

"That's how you survive this commercial lifestyle."

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