Naturally Playful Clubhouse Climber

How To Complain About Preschool Advertisements

Are you outraged by preschool advertisements that imply any child that doesn't go to preschool will go to prison, or become a drug addict, or fail in life? Then write a letter of complaint! Here's how:

How To Write A Letter Of Complaint About a Commercial

If you see a preschool commercial that offends or concerns you, write a letter that notes the date and time of the program and the station it aired on, the company sponsoring the commercial, and a summary of what concerned you.

The next step is to contact the company. Most companies these days have websites, and usually provide a "contact us" form to respond to consumer inquiries, complaints and concerns.

Try to find the name and contact info for the Chief Executive Officer, President or Chairman too, and copy them when you send the letter. They have the most power to solve your problem.

You can submit your complaint in several ways:

Sending a letter by U.S. mail carries the most impact.

Start by identifying what you're complaining about and describe why you're upset. Express your concerns clearly and politely.

Tell the company how they can correct the problem, and what they can do to make you happy!

Explain what you plan to do if your complaint is not dealt with satisfactorily. (i.e., Will you refuse to watch their broadcast again? Will you tell your friends and family not to watch their program? Will you call on your best friend, the CEO of Some Big Company or the President of the Galaxy, to publicly denounce the company?)

Be polite and professional -- no name-calling, cussing, or personal injury threats. You may be angry, but a succinct, courteous, neat, computer-generated letter in Times New Roman font will get better results than a hand-written rant in crayon from psycho-boy. Don't forget to run it through grammar and spell-check.

Finally, thank the company for their attention to your complaint.

Note: You may or may not get a response. Some companies will dismiss your complaint, others will pay close attention, consider what you have to say, and take action to rectify the situation.

You also have several other options:


Sample Letter

Here's a sample letter you may use as a template. Change it suit your particular circumstances:

Dear California First Five:

On Thursday, December 1, 2005, I was watching C.S.I. at 9:30 P.M. (PST) on CBS (channel 5 in the San Francisco Bay Area) when it was interrupted by a California First Five commercial. It depicted what looked to be a young man running away from the police after committing a crime. He eventually entered an auditorium and put on a cap and gown -- turns out he was only running because he was late for his graduation. The narrator of the ad implied that the only reason this young man was graduating and not in prison -- was because he attended preschool. The narrator also said studies show that kids who go to preschool do better in life.

I find this ad incredibly offensive and erroneous. The "studies" you refer to that indicate attending preschool will lower crime rates only apply to severely disadvantaged, critically poor, at-risk children who do not have a safe home, enough food to eat, or a dependable, caring adult to interact with them (less than 20% of the total preschool population). To make the leap from that data to a generalization that ALL children who attend preschool are less likely to commit crime is not only irresponsible -- it's false advertising.

While the studies show that disadvantaged kids in *specialized* preschool programs transition more easily into regular elementary school, they also show that the benefits dissipate after 2 years of regular public schooling.

Further, the studies you refer to show that preschool offers no discernible benefit for "normal" middle class and advantaged children. You failed to report that scientific research shows that middle class and advantaged children who attend regular preschool programs have poorer work habits, inferior peer relationships, substandard emotional and physical health, and are more difficult to discipline. Children between the ages of 0-5 have a better start in life when they are not institutionalized in preschool and/or daycare programs. Young children do better overall when they spend copious amounts of time in their own homes with loving, nurturing, functional parents.

The propaganda from California First Five is designed to get public support for government funded universal preschool. Preschool-For-All is nothing more than a feat of social engineering to provide jobs and income sources for special interest groups such as the California Teachers Association, train human resources for corporations (such as Hewlett-Packard), control non-English speaking immigrants, encourage entitlement thinking and dependency on the government via welfare for daycare, eliminate the choice and affordability of privatized preschool programs for the middle class, and usurp parental rights. It has NOTHING to do with what is best for young children, and encourages people to support programs that can harm little kids.

As a tax payer, a voter, a parent, an advocate of parental rights and children's rights, and a concerned citizen, I am appalled that you ran this advertisement. I respectfully request that you cease airing it. Until that happens, I will urge all parents (through newsletters, discussion lists, websites, blogs, and other media) to protest this abomination that goads them to forfeit their children to government preschools, and I will actively campaign to get the media outlets that air or publish these ads to stop.


Your Name
Your Title

Note: In the last sentence above, it is helpful to be very specific. So, if you have websites or blogs or newsletters, etc., be sure to identify them. You have clout if you reach a lot of people, and they know it. :)