To Education, Advertising and Feature Editors

Marianne Manilov, Center for Commercial-Free Public Education (510) 268-1100; FAX (510) 268-1277

Education Center Follows CBS News Story with Release of "Top Ten" Points in School Ads

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct 9– The Center for Commercial Free Public Education, a non profit information clearinghouse, followed up today on a Wednesday CBS-TV News feature and released its own "Top Ten" list of facts about ads in schools.

Marianne Manilov, Director of the Center, said, "There are many positive things businesses are doing for schools, providing mentoring or funding scholarships, but plastering ads all over schools doesn't help."

The list:


10. Ads in schools are unpopular. Only telemarketing is more universally disliked by the American public. (From "To What Extent is the Medium the Message? Reactions to Advertising at Different Locations", Warwick Baker & Fiore, New York City)

9. Ads in school cost time and money. TV ads are shown in class time when "the meter is running". Every minute costs the taxpayers whether the kids are learning math or Mars candy. In New York State the cost, per student, of watching ads in class would be more than $58.00 per year.

8. Merchandising doesn't stop with ads. In one recent Channel One promotion the principals' offices were tied up handing out coupons for Subways sandwiches... instead of taking care of school business.

7. School advertising "brands" students. Advertisers demand exclusivity. That means if Pepsi is in a school, Coke can't be there. The purpose: "brand" kids with lifetime product loyalty.

6. Schools' credibility is whittled away. When a school becomes an advertiser's partner, the students perceive that the school is endorsing the product. If a school is paid to push Pepsi or M&Ms... how trustworthy is its nutrition education?

5. Once part of the school is for sale... the whole thing is. A Colorado school district is now an advertising site for US West phone company. As part of the deal the phone company may sell prepaid calling cards at school. The cards are a notoriously expensive way for kids to make phone calls.

4. Many of the deals are for products which kids can't afford or don't need. Overwhelmingly, soft drinks and $150 sneakers are leaders when it comes to in school advertising.

3. Merchandising gives schools new priorities. In Florida, South Fork High School promised Pepsi it would "make its best effort to maximize all sales opportunities for Pepsi-Cola products" in its contract.


2. In Texas, Clear Creek Independent School District near Houston signed a deal with Coke which will net it $6.43 per year. That's not even enough to buy an extra workbook for each student.

1. In a much ballyhooed deal involving Colorado's Jefferson County schools and Pepsi, the district is getting a meager $3.90 per student per year for advertising. That is somewhere between the price of a 6-pack and a 12-pack.

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