Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations Lobby Watch

Media Smart

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 31 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5415
  1. Richard Cookson, freelance journalist
  1. richard{at}

What is it?

Almost two thirds of UK primary schools will receive free teaching aids from Media Smart by the end of 2011 ( The non-profit media literacy programme provides reading and writing material that focuses on advertising.

Media Smart says that its teaching packs, which it says are created by educational experts and cover topics such as language, images, and production across commercial media, “teach children to think critically about advertising in the context of their daily lives” (

But parents might view the lessons that their children are learning differently if they knew that the programme was funded by some of the world’s most powerful toy and fast food companies. The supporters are the Advertising Association, the British Toy and Hobby Association, Business in the Community, DDB …

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