Policy

Cox Wants to Help Parents ‘Take Charge!’

8/26/2004 4:31 AM Eastern

Cox Communications Inc. launched a new public-affairs program designed to help parents control the content their kids see on television and the Internet, partnering with America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh to star in a new series of public-service announcements.

Cox -- which released research that found that 85% of parents said they’re concerned about the images their kids see on TV and the Internet -- also added a section to its Web site (www.cox.com/takecharge) that gives parents tips for monitoring their kids.

Walsh -- who first worked with Cox about 20 years ago on a series of public-safety spots for the company -- lauded Cox’s efforts.

“They’ve figured out that they have a responsibility to say, ‘If you don’t like the content, you’re worried about what’s popping up on your computer, if you’re worried about what’s happening on the phone, we’re going to give you solid, concrete, proven tools and tips on how to deal with it,’” Walsh said in an interview.

Walsh said Cox paid him a nominal fee to work on the “Take Charge!” program, and the MSO also agreed to donate $500,000 worth of PSAs for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, which was founded by his wife.

Walsh became an advocate for children after his son, Adam, was kidnapped and murdered in 1981.

Cox’s research also found that more than 30% of parents surveyed said they are now more concerned than before Janet Jackson’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl Feb. 1.

Internet sites were named as the top concern by 40% of parents, outranking concerns about TV programs, movies, video games and print media.

Cox said 71% of respondents said they were interested in having a printed or online guide to help identify appropriate content, in addition to information on how to block such content.

September