Critics don’t want ads on PBSKids.org

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Some children’s and consumer advocates aren’t happy about PBS’s plan to add banner ads to PBSKids.org beginning Oct. 1, reports the Los Angeles Times. “Children are basically inundated with marketing and the PBS website was in some ways a sanctuary,” said Susan Linn, a psychologist and co-founder of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood in Boston. “This is just one more step in the commercialization of PBS and children’s programming.” Said a PBS spokesman: “This is going to be very smart and respectful, and anything that will appear online will be in the spirit of what is on PBS on air.” PBS will sell banners across the tops of PBS.org and PBSKids.org. The former has included sponsored links since January, and individual show sites within PBSKids.org currently include logo links for kid- and mom-targeted sponsors such as Chuck E. Cheese and Kellogg’s. National Public Broadcasting’s new online sales division will represent PBS.org in its marketing efforts, the network announced last week.