|May 22, 2001
For Immediate Release
Western Pennsylvania IU To Sell Exclusive Pouring Rights
|The Western Pennsylvania IUs Beverage Consortium has hired an independent marketing company, DD Marketing in Pueblo, CO, to assist in evaluating, structuring, and negotiating an Exclusive Beverage Contract. The contract would guarantee exclusive pouring rights in 172 school districts, effecting more than 500,000 children! "We are selling our children. Our role should not be in helping corporations develop brand-name loyalty and make a quick buck off the backs of our students." said Chuck Pascal, Leechburg Area School District President.
Exclusive beverage contracts are on the rise in public school districts across the country. Over 250 school districts have signed exclusive beverage contracts since 1998, although several, including the first district in the countryMadison, WI, have opted not to renew their contracts. "They (the public) thought, what are schools doing, promoting one product over another? And an unhealthy product at that?" said Madison school board member Ruth Robarts.
DD Marketing is a Pueblo, CO based company who specializes in school/business partnerships, always taking a hefty chunk of the profits. Dan DeRose, CEO of DD Marketing, has negotiated deals across the country and Coke will no longer bid with a district doing business with DD Marketing. "Dan DeRose cares about one thing: money. He sees schools as an audience of consumers and works as a middleman to allow corporations to profit during a tax-payer funded school day" said Heath. DeRose was hired as a consultant to pursue cola deals for the San Francisco public schools in 2000. After the San Francisco Board decided not to pursue a deal with Pepsi, DeRose demanded to be reimbursed for $150,000 in expenses even though the contract called for the consultant to be paid only if a deal was struck.
The partnership between the Western Pennsylvania and DD Marketing is an example of the nationwide effort by soft drink companies to battle for market share and brand loyalty from teenage kids. "The cola wars have entered our public school system" said Emily Heath, Senior Program Director for the Center for Commercial-Free Public Education. "We know where this path leads. In the beginning, there s just one harmless soda machine here and there, but that leads to corporate controlled curriculum, school bus ads, and Coke and Pepsi celebration rallies during the school day. We have seen science brought to you by Exxon, nutrition by Subway, and news by Channel One. Piece by piece parents and community members are losing control of their schools."
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