Advertising in Schools: How Bad Is It?

Having been referred to an article in USA Today about advertising in schools, our initial instinct was the same as Nancy Cox, the quoted president of the Florida PTA, who said, “We are opposed to using children for commercial purposes.” That was the self-inflicted antibodies against indoctrination talking, though, and we quickly shook them off. (And not just because the fruits of child labor are as sweet as child-labor-produced sugar.)

Schools are broke. Teachers work a thankless job, positioned to fail right from the get-go. If schools can make an extra $5k a year by putting advertisements on the busses, then more power to them. (And we hardly think a few more ads are going to make a dent in the kids’ mental landscape, at this point.)

(As an aside, we are against putting fast food into schools, although we are also against most of the food that is served by cafeterias, so we’re sort of break-even on that one.)

But we know that there has to be some really awful bits of advertising crammed down our school-goers’ throats, and we’d like to know about them. A comment or email is fine, but pictures are even better.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Josh says:

    Just Do it!

    Seriously though, kids are subjected to so many ads on TV, way home from school, movies, video games etc, the bus they ride isn’t going to make a difference.

    Also you already see advertising on that new football and basketball scoreboard at least in the Midwest US.

    And finally if the community has an issue with it Pass a Freakin Levy so the schools can actually have money to operate.

    As someone who is a recent college graduate with debt to my ears I would still vote yes on a school levy, cause people voted yes for my education, at least until I was in HS then Levies started failing left and right.

    While we’re at it lets put some logos on the football and soccer uniforms, Joe’s Body shop Marching Band, and School Uniforms that look like a NASCAR driver’s.

    Its time for community members to put up or shut up.

    Start the advertising

    Rant Over.

  2. DeeJayQueue says:

    I don’t think i could disagree more. I know schools are broke and teachers work for peanuts (which all depends on where and what you teach, and if you coach a sport,) but at home or out in the wild, Kids are subjected to ads almost because they want to be. At least there they have a choice even if it’s made by the parents, what to watch or not watch. If they’re going to school and seeing these ads, they don’t have a choice because they HAVE to be in school. Also, who the hell are they advertising to? I know that when i was a kid i was NOT independantly wealthy, in fact, i had no money at all. It wasn’t till senior year that i got my first job. Kids don’t have any money and they’re fickle on top of that. Ads don’t tell kids what kids want. the other kids do.
    I just don’t see a point in forcing underaged eyeballs to see things they don’t care about so that a school can make a little extra a year (which will undoubtedly buy new football uniforms instead of pay the teachers or get new books, computers or supplies that are actually related to learning).

  3. non-meat-stick says:

    This is a delicate situation indeed. I was recently at a high school girl’s basketball game and noticed 3 forms of advertising. Pepsi and Mountain Dew logos on the scoreboards, pepsi logo on the sign out front of the school, and pepsi logos on all the soda machines in the hallways. All the Pepsi advertising sure made me want a coke. Without that money they wouldn’t have some nice ammenities to go along with the newly remodled school. Kids need to stay focused in school, and I don’t think soda advertising hurts them, but cafinated soda probably does. Ads on the outsides of busses are cool too. But you have to keep it out of the classrooms. We don’t want to take up space on the desks, then there will be no place for them to draw during boring geology lectures…

  4. Rob O. says:

    Maybe I’m overreacting a smidge since I’m an excited and nervous parent-to-be, but it seems like the schoolyard has rapidly become a battlefield!

    It’s disturbing enough that companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are already well-entrenched in predatorily marketing to kids inside the schools, pushing their sugar- and caffeine-laden swills and nutritionally-void nuggets of fast food upon susceptible and impressionable little minds for the sake of expanding their customer base. But now the schools are succumbing to economic pressures and willing kids to become captive audiences on their way to and from school? This is just insidious!

    I know that parents bear the responsibility to pass their values onto children – including their stances on consumerism and eating habits – but the lessons that parents might’ve imparted at home don’t stand a chance when kids are bombarded with advertising and peer pressure during the considerable amount of time that they are away from their parent’s protective and guiding presence.