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Web Smarts

By Compiled by staff / May 22, 2002



www.pbskids.org/dontbuyit

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What: An interactive website that teaches young people to look into the real message of advertisements.

Best points: Click on "before" and "after" pictures of models to discover how much work goes into a professional photo shoot. They illustrate how artificial the beauty of cover models really is.

The website also explains why food products look so tantalizing in ads: Burgers are painted with oil and brown coloring, and chickens are stuffed with wet paper towels to create steam during roasting.

The site offers questions kids can ask during commercials, such as: "Do the sound effects used make the product seem more exciting?" and explains why Internet polls are unreliable. "What you can do" gives youngsters suggestions for action.

What you should know: The site is sponsored by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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