ERIC Number: ED389473
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Dec
Advertising in the Schools. ERIC Digest.
This digest reviews the recent history of advertising to children, spotlights controversial marketing efforts, and examines the nature of commercial messages directed toward children in public schools. Because of the increase in children's spending power in recent decades, advertisers have closely targeted children as consumers. Advertising strategies aimed at children include toy-related programs or program-length commercials, kids' clubs, store displays directed at children, direct mailing to children, and marketer-sponsored school activities. Advertising in schools takes many forms, one of the most controversial of which has been "Channel One," a 12-minute daily news show for students in grades 6 through 12 that includes 2 minutes of age-appropriate ads. Some educators defend the use of commercially produced materials as a way of providing useful supplements to the curriculum or of raising funds and building bridges to businesses. Other educators oppose it, fearing that market values may replace democratic values in schools, pointing to increased pressure on teachers' and administrators' time, and believing that students comprise a captive audience. One report that stresses students as a captive audience divides in-school commercialism into four categories: (1) in-school ads; (2) ads in classroom materials and programs; (3) corporate-sponsored educational materials and programs; and (4) corporate-sponsored contests and incentives programs. Professional organizations in education have supported the development of guidelines for using commercial messages in schools. Several consumer groups have formulated such guidelines, based on an approach that includes reviewing all sponsored materials, pursuing noncommercial partnerships with businesses, and teaching media literacy to elementary school students. However, in light of the controversial nature of the issue, public discussion and workable policies are needed. (BC)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, IL.