Corporate Marketing to Children

Regardless of the exact numbers and means of measuring schoolhouse commercialism, the continued pervasiveness of the practice raises grave ethical concerns. Should we give private companies-whose primary motivation is enhancing their own profits-access to our public institutions of learning? Regarding the Brooklawn School District's decision to sell naming rights for its gym to the ShopRite supermarket, superintendent John Kellmayer acknowledged that selling a school's naming rights represented "the privatization of public responsibility." He added:
We'll be the first school district to be branded with a corporate logo. You hope children can become sophisticated enough to deal with it. (Russakoff, 2001)
Such "sophistication" comes at a high price, however. We might just as well say that we hope our children will become cynical enough to dismiss such adult behavior with a wink and a nod. At a time when adults talk at length about the need to teach virtue and character, the willingness to commercialize public schools speaks volumes about what adults actually mean by "virtue" and "character."

---Alex Molnar, Professor of Education Policy and Director of the Education Policy Studies
Laboratory at Arizona State University, Fifth Annual Report on Commercialism
in Schools / The Corporate Branding of Our Schools, October 2002

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Page last updated Monday November 02, 2009

Corporate Marketing to Children in the News
May 3, 2009Washington PostA Hannah Montana Banana? Disney's Brand Goes Healthy
December 9, 2007Orlando Sentinel Junk food's influence deep in our schools
December 6, 2007Orlando SentinelSeminole students get McDonald's bonus on report cards
March 29, 2007 SF Chronicle Kids see hours of fat food TV ads
February 9, 2007 Christian Science Monitor Snack-ad attack
December 4, 2006 Washington Post Ads Are Selling U.S. Kids Poor Health: Experts
October 2, 2006 CBS News High-Fat Food Ads Target Toddlers
July 20, 2006 SF Chronicle 'Advergames' hook kids on products
May 15, 2006 LA Times M&M math for fat kids
May 3, 2006 NY Times Industry Urged to Offer More Nutritious Foods for Children
May 2, 2006 Chicago Tribune Kids, TV: Calorie encounter
April 22, 2006 NY Times Salads or No, Cheap Burgers Revive McDonald's
April 12, 2006 Times Herald-Record Sugar shocker
March 29, 2006 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Meet me at school in the (your name here) cafeteria
January 19, 2006 Washington Post A New Way to Fight Junk-Food Ads
December 31, 2005 Orlando Sentinel Sugarcoated junk: Should SpongeBob be feeding your kids?
December 26, 2005 Toledo Blade The deck is stacked against parents who push healthy eats
December 11, 2005 Mankato Free Press Cartoons used to sell junk food
Decenber 7, 2005 Washington Post TV Ads Entice Kids To Overeat, Study Finds
November 25, 2005 Los Angeles Times Snack Food Makers Aim to Get Kids, Own Images in Better Shape
September 13, 2005 USA Today McDonald's kicks off school PE program
September 8, 2005 Boston Globe The kid gloves are off
September 7, 2005 SF Chronicle Big Food's 'health education'
July 13, 2005 AScribe Major Food Companies Hijack FTC Workshop on Advertising to Kids: Government Fails to Protect Children's Health
April 27, 2005 SF Chronicle Childhood obesity fueled by marketing tactics
April 13, 2005 Contra Costa Times Companies enticing an older sweet tooth now
March 28, 2005 NewStandard Movement Builds to Block Corporate Marketing in Public Schools
March 21, 2005 Miami Herald Pitches to kids feed debate about watchdog group
March 17, 2005 Kansas City Star Obesity in kids prompts action
February 28, 2005 AlterNet Bush and Kids: Standing Small
February 27, 2005 Washington Post Minding Nemo: Pitches to Kids Feed Debate About a Watchdog
February 23, 2005 Knowledge@wharton Food Fight: Obesity Raises Difficult Marketing Questions
February 20, 2005 Toledo Blade It's a growing business to help parents fight child obesity
January 28, 2005 In the Public Interest Super Bowl Advertising
January 28, 2005 Minneapolis Star Tribune General Mills defends cereal ads aimed at children
January 28, 2005 Investor's Business Daily Food execs say they're helping kids fight fat
January 20, 2005 San Luis Obispo Tribune EU to Start Taking Obesity Seriously
January 12, 2005 NY Times It'd Be Easier if SpongeBob Were Hawking Broccoli
December 18, 2004 Obligation, Inc. Latest News on Channel One
December 9, 2004 Ft Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Board OKs ads on Palm Beach County school buses
December 8, 2004 Chicago Tribune School fiscal woes drive ad proposal
December 3, 2004 Allston-Brighton Tab BC prof's new book targets marketing aimed at kids
December 3, 2004 Minneapolis Star Tribune Wal-Mart High?/Stay away from naming rights
December 2, 2004 Kennebec Journal Ad-dicted kids?
November 29, 2004 The Crimson White Channel One not learning-friendly, some say
November 11, 2004 Valley Advocate Kids for Sale
October 18, 2004 NY Times Reading, Writing and Corporate Sponsorships
October 8, 2004 Albany Times Union Atkins funding creates a beef
October 4, 2004 TIME Junk Culture
September 25, 2004 Detroit News Controversial Adkins diet makes it way into schools
September 18, 2004 Houston Chronicle Our 'junk culture' is enough to make kids sick
September 9, 2004 Washington Times Junk-food ads for children are targeted
September 8, 2004 SF Chronicle You Are What You Eat
September 2004 CERU Virtually Everywhere: Marketing to Children in America's Public Schools
August 31, 2004 Bangor Daily News Big food is acting like big tobacco
August 29, 2004 New York Times Is the Food Industry the Problem or the Solution?
July 15, 2004 Washington Post Subway Brings Jared Back in Anti-Obesity Campaign
July 6, 2004 Seattle Times Companies sell details on millions of children
July 1, 2004 LA City Beat Kids For Sale
June 7, 2004 Salt Lake Tribune Vulnerable schools fuel fitness flop
June 4, 2004 AdWeek NARC Backs Industry Self-Regulation
May 30, 2004 Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette Food firms recruiting doctors as pitchmen
May 25, 2004 Philadelphia Inquirer Instead of zoo, it's off to Petco for field trips
May 25, 2004 Media Week Should marketing in schools be banned?
May 21, 2004 Miami Herald Board seeks new revenue source, OK's concept for school bus ads
May 19, 2004 Wichita Eagle Pull Advertising That Targets Children
May 12, 2004 Sydney Morning Herald Sports sponsors are turning our kids into junk food freaks
April 26, 2004 Ad Age Much Of What Advertisers Are Doing Is An Invasion Of Privacy
April 26, 2004 Ad Age Much Of What Advertisers Are Doing Is An Invasion Of Privacy
April 21, 2004 CNN School reaps profits from corporate naming rights
April 20, 2004 Yahoo News Youth Marketers Feel It Is Appropriate to Begin Marketing to Kids at Age Seven
April 3, 2004 The Independent Sugar rush
March 28, 2004 Minneapolis Star Tribune Enlivening school marketing
March 18, 2004 Pioneer Press Schools not sold on sales pitches
March 11, 2004 Boston Globe As ads seduce kids, studies sound alarm
March 8, 2004 BBC News Action urged on junk food adverts
March 7, 2004 The Guardian The unfree market
February 26, 2004 Atlanta Journal Constitution TV Ads Add Pounds to Our Kids
February 25, 2004 NY Times A Report on Childhood Obesity
February 25, 2004 Ad Age Study Links Childhood Obesity And Advertising
February 24, 2004 Kaiser Family Foundation The Role of Media in Childhood Obesity
February 24, 2004 The Age Pester power
February 16, 2004 Business Week Let Them Eat Cake -- If They Want To
February 15, 2004 Gloucester County Times Big-name players: Has corporate sponsorship in districts gone too far?
February 7, 2004 Kansas City Star Student pushes healthy vending machine option
February 1, 2004 Atlanta Journal Constitution Advertisers Probe Brains, Raise Fears
January 11, 2004 Porterville Recorder Some Schools Turning to Marketing Deals
December 26, 2003 SF Chronicle The Cat, the Hat, kids' ads like that
December 22, 2003 Connect for Kids Sugarplum Society
December 14, 2003 SF Chronicle Capturing the minds of our children
December 14, 2003 SF Chronicle What is hip? 'Viral' marketing
November 25, 2003 UK Telegraph Coca-Cola's gesture doesn't really smack of the real thing
November 19, 2003 The Lumberjack McDonald's: more than a Big Mac
November 11, 2003 The Early Show Beware Of Junk Food Marketeers
November 11, 2003 Washington Times Food makers use trickery on children, watchdog says
November 11, 2003 KTNV Action News Junk Food Ads For Kids
November 10, 2003 Forbes Fat Food Fight On Two Fronts
November 4, 2003 The Guardian Teachers back ban on fast food advertising
October 19, 2003 New Haven Register Yale's Brownell pens new book about obesity crisis in U.S.
October 8, 2003 The News-Press Lee County considers using school bus ads
September 21, 2003 Naples Daily News Collier students could see ads on buses
September 15, 2003 Sun Herald Commercial education
September 2, 2003 Journal News Putting the brakes on fat
August 19, 2003 USA Today Brakes on the scale
August 18, 2003 Dow Jones Newswire The Bottom Line: Food Fight Over Ads Directed At Kids
August 17, 2003 Denver Post Not 'X,' but 'Y' marks the spot
August 17, 2003 Kansas City Star Activists warn of climb in pervasive advertising
August 8, 2003 Washington Times Obesity suits eye children as props
August 4, 2003 New York Times Fast food focuses on children
July 31, 2003 Sydney Morning Herald Food ads blamed
July 29, 2003 The Guardian Food ads accused of endangering children's health
July 29, 2003 BBC News Junk food ads 'should be banned'
July 29, 2003 Sydney Morning Herald Junk food ads face controls to fight obesity
July 20, 2003 Austin American-Statesman Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's an ad?
July 19, 2003 Atlanta Journal Constitution Coke won't market directly to children
July 15, 2003 New York Times Welcome to (Company Name Here) HighT
June 27, 2003 Albuquerque Tribune Learning to be consumers? Critics fight ads in classroom
June 27, 2003 Albuquerque Tribune Not wild about ads
June 23, 2003 Kansas City Star Cash-strapped schools consider sponsorship deals
June 23, 2003 Daily Camera Bake sales or Coca-Cola?
June 21, 2003 Washington Post PTA Turning to Corporate Sponsors for Funds
June 17, 2003 Malden Observer Youth butt sales rise by 18 percent
June 17, 2003 Chicago Sun Times Now your lips can taste like Twinkies
June 16, 2003 Chicago Tribune McDonald's hopes consumers will be 'lovin' it'
June 8, 2003 The Observer Harry Potter and the Crock of Gold
June 15, 2003 Washington Post Today's Lesson, Sponsored by...
June 10, 2003 Do Marketers Care for Kids?
June 3, 2003 Washington Post A Growing Marketing Strategy: Get 'Em While They're Young
April 8, 2003 Detroit Free Press Effort to get junk out of schools grows
December 5, 2002 Reno News and Review Junk-food wars
October 6, 2002 Newsday A Growing Epidemic
August 20, 2002 CounterPunch Junk School Nation
June 20, 2002 Christian Science Monitor Stop marketing 'yummy food' to children
March 1, 2000 The Kids' Market

Other Information About Corporate Marketing to Children
Arizona State University
Commercialism in Education Research Unit
Virtually Everywhere: Marketing to Children in America's Public Schools
Arizona State University
Commercialism in Education Research Unit
Commercializing Schools: A Threat To Our Children's Health
Arizona State University
Commercialism in Education Research Unit
Corporate Involvement In Schools: Time For A More Critical Look
Arizona State University
Commercialism in Education Research Unit
The Corporate Branding of Our Schools

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