Thursday, April 17, 2014

Truth In Advertising Hangout

Didn't get to be at the #TruthInAds Google Hangout? Here's the link to the video.

Thank you again to The Representation Project, SPARK Summit and Seth Matlins!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Truth in Advertising Act Introduced!

The Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) and Seth Matlins of the Brave Girls Alliance commend Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Lois Caps (D-CA), and Ted Deutch (D-FL) on the Truth in Advertising Act. This bipartisan bill requires the Federal Trade Commission to study what steps can be taken to reduce the usage of “photoshopped” models in advertising. The broad-range of health consequences of advertising that “photoshops” and changes the human form by advertisers is particularly concerning. These types of altered advertisements have a particularly strong impact on children and girls.

“We are extremely excited about this legislation. Reps. Ros-Lehtinen, Capps and Deutch have been champions for the eating disorders causes, and we value their leadership on this important initiative,” said Johanna Kandel, President of the Eating Disorders Coalition, “ The EDC has been concerned about the effect “photoshopping” can have on the onset of eating disorders for quite sometime and we look forward to seeing this bill become law.”

"As the father of 2 young children, I'm incredibly grateful for the leadership Representatives Ros-Lehtinen, Capps and Deutch are demonstrating" said Seth Matlins, who first began advocating for this type of legislative action with his wife almost three years ago. "Advertisers have been operating within guidelines and a 'business-as-usual' approach that needs to be re-examined. When 69% of elementary school girls say magazine images influence their concept of ideal body shape - and yet the body shapes they see aren't real or attainable; when 80% of women feel "shame" after reading a beauty magazine, we need to act, and re-consider commercial practices that are harming a broad cross-section of the population."


The Eating Disorders Coalition is a non-profit policy and advocacy organization for persons with eating disorders located in Washington, DC. Seth Matlins is a father, marketer, and member of the Brave Girls Alliance, which shares the message that girls want, and deserve more empowered and healthy media.  For more information, visit www.eatingdisorderscoalition.org and BraveGirlsWant.com.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Final Goodbye from EDC Policy Director, Jeanine Cogan

Dear EDC advocates,

As the last day working with the EDC my heart is filled with gratitude for each of you.  Thank you EDC advocates for your strength, courage and commitment.  Thank you for speaking up, for speaking out, for taking a stand.  

For me the EDC was about empowering others - inspiring you to break the silence, to tell your stories, build relationships with your legislators, and ask for needed change.  Over the 14 years since our birth EDC has had more than 1000 people come to Washington, DC to speak their minds.  What a powerful force!  

And in a mutually synergistic way - you all inspired me!  Take for example the first time advocate.  You spent your money on airfares and hotel rooms, flew to DC, found your way through the maze of DC streets and arrived early (yes early!) to basic training.  Often you were anxious, venturing into something completely unfamiliar, not knowing how to lobby yet.  Yet you showed the courage to show up and then trusted me to give you the tools to fly! You went with your team to the first lobby visit - excited and nervous - and eventually with the support and encouragement of your team - you spoke up and told your story to the Congressional staffer.  "Wow - they actually listened!" was a common response.  Witnessing the transformation from anxiety in the morning to empowered strength in the evening was truly a gift! 

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.  Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."  Albert Schweitzer

Many of you met Members in official meetings or spontaneously in the halls of Congress.  I'll always remember how emboldened Terry Rustemeyer was when she saw Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in the halls of the Russell Building.  She walked right up, introduced herself and shared her grief and heartbreak over the loss of her daughter Melissa to bulimia.  Hillary was visibly moved and said she would help.  Through this and other efforts (shout out to Joslyn Smith) Senator Hillary Clinton became a champion for our cause while she was in office.

I'll always cherish the chutzbah of so many of you.  A favorite is when veteran lobbyist Deb Melk cornered the chair of the Eating Disorders Caucus and as a constituent demanded in no uncertain terms an explanation for why she was still not a cosponsor of the FREED Act.  The Member signed onto the bill that day!

"God gave us memories that we might have roses in December." J.M. Barrie

I admire the commitment of so many advocates who came back year in and year out to give voice to this cause.  Thank you Gail, Johanna, Kitty, Kathleen, Matt, Carmen, Lisa, Eilleen, Katie, April, Chevese, Lizabeth, Millie, Jillian, Lara, Deb, Alan, Nicole, Liz, Laura and all the rest of you who came to lobby day repeatedly.  Through your continued efforts we passed a stronger mental health parity bill then was originally proposed. We pressured the administration to write stronger parity regulations that will cover more people with eating disorders.  We won Republican support for the FREED Act in the early years and Republican Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen is championing EDC's new photoshopping bill this month (way to go Johanna and team Florida!).   It takes a village!  It takes a movement.  Thank you for being part of the movement!

Kitty and I built this organization out of love and righteousness!  The EDC was a place to bring your outrage and troubled heart.  The EDC was a place to heal and transform through positive action.  So many of you found it a welcoming place to bring your experience of darkness and loss and use it as a tool of change.  To all of you I give my thanks.  Your participation, leadership and action makes a difference.  

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

with love, Jeanine 

Monday, March 17, 2014

EDC Bids Farewell to Jeanine Cogan

The Eating Disorder Coalition's (EDC) Policy Director Jeanine Cogan has announced her resignation. Jeanine was the founding Executive Director of the EDC and was instrumental in its leadership and direction for 14 years. She has decided to step aside now so the EDC can bring in new leadership as we undertake changing and growing opportunities on Capitol Hill. The EDC board accepted her resignation on February 28th and it will go into effect on March 21, 2014.

Under Jeanine's watch, the EDC has been able to influence Congress in a variety of ways including playing an important role in passing the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 and the introduction of the Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders Act.  In the past 14 years, under Jeanine's guidance, the EDC has made certain that eating disorders language has been inserted in several bills that have been put before Congress. In addition, she was instrumental in making sure eating disorders issues have been included in Congressional Hearings, press conferences and town hall meetings across the United States.

Jeanine's most important legacy however is her commitment to training and empowering individuals affected by eating disorders to speak out. She planned, organized and led dozens of EDC Advocacy Training and Lobby Days and she has trained hundreds of citizen activists to share their stories and use their voices to educate Congress about eating disorders.  In addition to Lobby Day trainings Jeanine organized Congressional Briefings, receptions for EDC members and members of Congress and participated in countless meetings and committees in Washington, D.C. as part of the greater mental health community.

The EDC is sorry to lose Jeanine's skills and passion and she will be missed.  EDC President, Johanna Kandel expressed her gratitude and confidence that the EDC's work will continue; "We are extremely grateful for the pioneering work Jeanine has done to advance eating disorders as a public health priority on a federal level.  We look forward to continuing the life-saving work she accomplished and excited about this new chapter for the EDC."


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Intends to call on the FTC to Examine the Effects of “Photoshopped” Advertising on Eating Disorders and Consumer Health

The Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) and Seth Matlins of the Brave Girls Alliance commend Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s intent to introduce legislation requiring the Federal Trade Commission to study the broad-range of health consequences of advertising that “photoshops” and changes the human form by advertisers. “Photoshopped” advertisements have a particularly strong impact on children and girls. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said on the House Floor, “The kinds of altered or photoshopped images found in media today can cause unrealistic expectations of what the body is supposed to look like, causing emotional, mental and physical health issues, and often resulting in an eating disorder."

“We are extremely excited about this legislation. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen has long been a champion for the eating disorders causes, and we value her leadership on this important initiative,” said Johanna Kandel, President of the Eating Disorders Coalition, “ The EDC has been concerned about the effect “photoshopping” can have on the onset of eating disorders for quite sometime and we look forward to its introduction and working with her on this initiative.”

"As the father of 2 young children, I'm incredibly grateful for the leadership Representative Ros-Lehtinen is demonstrating" said Seth Matlins, who first began advocating for this type of legislative action with his wife almost three years ago. "Advertisers have been operating within guidelines and a 'business-as-usual' approach that needs to be re-examined. When 69% of elementary school girls say magazine images influence their concept of ideal body shape - and yet the body shapes they see aren't real or attainable; when 80% of women feel "shame" after reading a beauty magazine, we need to act, and re-consider commercial practices that are harming a broad cross-section of the population."


The Eating Disorders Coalition is a non-profit policy and advocacy organization for persons with eating disorders located in Washington, DC. Seth Matlins is a father, marketer, and member of the Brave Girls Alliance, which shares the message that girls want, and deserve more empowered and healthy media.  For more information, visit www.eatingdisorderscoalition.org and BraveGirlsWant.com.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Congressional Briefing on Truth In Advertising: The FTC's Role In Protecting Consumers from "Photoshopped" Ads



                                                                                     

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Seth Matlins
(310) 266-4545

March 4, 2014
           
Congressional Briefing to Focus on “Photoshopped” Ads as False Advertising

The Eating Disorders Coalition, Seth Matlins and the Brave Girls Alliance, will host a Congressional briefing, Thursday, April 3rd at 12:00 p.m. in 210 Cannon House Office Building.  The briefing will be sponsored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and will be titled “Truth in Advertising: The FTC’s Role in Protecting Consumers from “Photoshopped” Ads” and will discuss the mental, emotional, physical and economic health consequences of "Photoshopped" advertising.

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen has long been a protector and advocate for women and girls, the two populations most at-risk from these common practices. The briefing will draw on a panel of experts, and highlight that despite its ubiquity, when advertising changes the human body it is:
false and deceptive,  intended to and does influence consumer purchase decisions, and  inextricably linked to consumer damages and an array of health issues, particularly among women, and girls 6 – 18.

"The importance of demanding transparency in our advertising practices cannot be underestimated. It is a fact that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses, and have been highly correlated with Western popular cultural ideals. The practice of repeatedly and deceptively misrepresenting the human physique, as is commonly practiced using “photoshopping” in modern-day advertising, has enormous public health implications," said, Jaye Azoff, Psy.D., Eating Disorders Coalition Board Member.

"An epidemic of health and economic issues are being created by manipulated images in what amounts to false advertising," said Seth Matlins, who first began advocating for this type of legislative action with his wife almost three years ago. The briefing panel will include experts from  marketing and advertising, academia, and the Eating Disorders community.


The Eating Disorder Coalition is a non-profit policy and advocacy organization for persons with eating disorders located in Washington, DC. Seth Matlins is a father, marketer, and social entrepreneur, and member of the Brave Girls Alliance sharing the message that girls want, and deserve more empowered and healthy media.  For more information, visit www.eatingdisorderscoalition.org and BraveGirlsWant.com.