Bus Radio Advertises To School-Bound Kids

The school district that approved McDonald’s-sponsored report cards has a hot new partnership with Bus Radio, a friendly company that advertises to kids as they ride to school!

The company serves a sonorous mix of inoffensive music, public service announcements (buckle up, kids!) and a few harmless advertisements (maybe McDonald’s?) to over 1 million children in 23 states. Bus Radio is based in Needham, Massachusetts, but lost its contract with the Needham school district after uppity parents objected to the crass commercialization of something as innocent as a bus ride.

Seminole School Board members said the benefits of the radio show seem to outweigh any drawbacks, but they will evaluate Bus Radio’s performance during the test run.

“This is strictly a pilot. I am real concerned about it,” School Board member Dede Schaffner said.

Board member Diane Bauer said she wants to know more about the ads that will be on the show. Board member Sandy Robinson suggested a committee be set up to check out ads and songs before the trial run starts, and other board members agreed.

To help win support, Bus Radio has promised the district six minutes out of each broadcast hour for its own use. Officials plan short lessons to help students pass the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

The district also will get a share of the company’s advertising revenues, although that is expected to amount to only a few thousand dollars a year.

Seminole County, where education meets marketing!

Seminole schools agree to give Bus Radio a trial run, but PTA still wary [Commercial Alert]
Turn off Bus Radio [Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood] (Thanks to Jess!)

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