Advertising in Schools

You are a public school principal (director) and school funding (money) is down. You have a difficult choice: Eliminate (cut) the school’s music, art, or sports program or allow advertisements to be place in the school. What would you do?

That’s the dilemma (difficult problem or decision) facing many schools in the U.S. today. With a poor economy comes less governmental funding, and advertisers are offering schools an alternative (another choice) to eliminating educational programs. Advertisers want to put advertising in schools, placing them on school lockers (metal boxes where students keep books and supplies) and on the side of school buses.

More and more schools are feeling desperate (hopeless; without other options) and opting for (choosing) advertising.  For example, in a school district (organization of many schools in one area) in St. Francis, Minnesota, the superintendent (director responsible for a district) agreed to cover 10% to 15% of the school’s lockers with ads. Parents don’t like it, but have not been too vocal (expressing an opinion aloud or loudly) because they know of the poor condition of school funding.

Advertisers, of course, love this form of advertising. School advertising reaches children and teenagers, an important demographic (specific group or part of the population) and the students are a captive audience (cannot leave or avoid what they see or experience).

What do you think of this form of advertising? What if the choice was between eliminating upper-level (advanced) math or science courses and school advertising?  Would your opinion be different?

Is there school advertising where you live? Are there other types of funding for schools?

~ Lucy

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29 Responses to Advertising in Schools

  1. emiliano says:

    Lucy, here in Spain there isn´t but it wouldn´t be odd that we have them in future as the money to support public shools are being less every year.
    If that is the only way to have a better upper level of education including music, sports, activities and best salary for the teachers it seems to me a not so bad way of getting funds.

    Publicity is everywhere you look to living in a civilization as the one we are living now, so what is the difference have a plus of it?.
    What is necessary in my opinion is some supervision of the topics that this publicity is going to touch or going to promote.

    Young people, like the old one, are a captive audience and it has to be careful with the subjects of this publicity.

    I think this is a good topic to treat, and there has to be several opinions among our Blog´s friends.


    It seems that the older emiliano is going better for the moment, just a moment ago I have been talking with him by the phone.
    But doctors say nothing, they are waiting to see the evolution in a man of such age like him.
    Thank you to all of you for your good wishes.


  2. emiliano says:

    Well my mind is upset to think or to write in English, it´s just incredible how our thoughts prevent the use of a language different of the own
    one, in my case spanish.
    May be we have to do a great effort to use a language that isn´t our mother´s one when we are going through difficult moments, and now I can see it pefectly well.

    I have asked Cuca, my wife, for her opinion about this topic and she has been very clear.
    If it is necessary to have some publicity to get funds for the schools in order to mantain a good level of education, go ahead.
    Parents and teachers need to say the children or the youngs that this publicity is necessary and they have not to be influenced
    by it.
    Teaching how to discern between right or good advertising or publiciy could be also a good exercise for the future and it
    can be a good exercise among the school young students.
    As adults our life is full of misleading advertising about everything, and we need how to be able of dicerning, and how to separate
    rubish from other good materials.

    This is all what she has told me, and I agree with her point of view.
    Being a mother to me is sure she has a good judment.


  3. Peter says:

    It is nice having you back.
    Good piece Lucy,
    Well,luckily , I have no children so, I guess , My voice can’t add sth to the whole existing picture.
    My thinking is, People with kids should weigh in like my friend Brtty . Definitly ,she is a better voice here, considering she has kids.she must be dealing with her kids education like everyday ,so she is totally up to date ,and can be a trusted voice on the matter.
    The way I see it though, parents typically are very serious about their kids schooling in particular the materials their kids are thought in the a result, any cut-down on the School’s course schedule wouldn’t be appreciated by parents. They certainly oppose to that.
    But, parents are just one side of the equations; the other side includes school board , budget shortage. If you put in all the figures the result would favour as
    Only solution that compensates to some degree ,not fully, for the fund shortage.
    All I m saying here is that it doesn’t harm if you post some ads here or there when you know for sure that the proceeds pump into the school fund toluca the cavity.

  4. Peter says:

    The depression rampaged all over the world. So,whatever concerns raise due to the economy shortage/turn-down/slow-down or what ever you like to call it
    Affect people globally not just locally.
    I believe ,everybody can add sth to the piece.
    It is very controversial issue.

  5. Vasiliy Galkin says:

    I suppose it depends from what kind of product would be advertised. Strict criteria must be formulated: which kind of advertising is acceptable and which isn’t. It’s clear that alcohol and cigarettes mustn’t be advertised in schools. On the other hand, there’s nothing bad about advertising, for example, stationery. I can imagine an advertising of well-known in Europe “Erich Krause” – producer of pens, pencil boxes e.g.
    But there are also more complicated cases. For example, is it acceptable to advertise jeans or some kinds of food? On the face of it, there’s nothing culpable. But what if that food isn’t healthy at all and girl advertising jeans on the poster poses
    As a resume, I think that there’s nothing bad about advertising in essense, but: 1) there must be some normative act that will decide whether or not it is acceptable; 2) advertising must be removed on demand of parents’ association (there is such organization in Russian schools, I don’t know in what form it does exist in the U.S.)

  6. Vasiliy Galkin says:

    I haven’t finished my previous comment and sent it occasionally 🙂 Please correct it if it’s possible.
    By the phrase “girl advertising jeans on the poster poses” I meant “girl advertising jeans on the poster standing in some erotic pose” or something like that. I doubt how to state this phrase correctly 🙂

  7. bill wang says:

    if discuss this issue in china ,i welcome any legal ads. in school. from primary school, chinese students were forced to spend 1/4 of their time inclass to accept the propaganda of communism, they are capture audiences and can not discern right or wrong at that age it wasted their time and harmed their thoughts, are their any ads. worse than that? on the contrary, i think any legal ads. can reduce the misleading of communism, any legal ads. includes more TRUE information than the propaganda of communism

  8. bill wang says:

    the public education in china mainland follows the obscurantism policy, government controlled the education strictly, they dont want people have their own thoughts,they only want people obey commands,and consider thethoughts of dictator as their own thoughts, i am worry about the education in china mainland, how to educate our kids?

  9. bill wang says:

    dear emiliano, glad to hear your father is getting better, god bless him, you should take it easy, since every thing is setted by god, you have done what you can do

  10. bill wang says:

    hi,everyone, in my hometown, primary school students need to get up and go to school at 6:30am, its terrible, how about it in your country and you hometown?

  11. FaYssal says:

    No pun intended, That’s a term of endearment guys.

    well, what has given birth to another modern phenomenon : the development of advertising, the purpose of which is to induce people to buy more than the bare necessities. Through its various media, advertising encourages people to buy more and more. If advertising reaches its purpose, this is due to the fact that in the western industrialization societies, people enjoy fairly high living standards, even if, in the course of the past few years, the improvement of the living standards has come to a standstill as the result of the economic crisis prevailing in these nations.
    in order to induce people to buy more than they actually need, advertising turns to account their unavowed or frustrated desires, such as the desire to be beautiful and to draw the attention, or the desire to keep up with the Joneses. The advertisers use the sex appeal (goods on which are shown lovely models) the child appeal (posters ob which are shown delightful and ravishing children) the health appeal etc.
    in addition to television, which is probably the most effective advertising medium, the advertisers resort to other devices to promote sales, for instance door-to-door canvassing, radio advertising, leaflets sent to potential customers, sky-writing on popular beaches, etc.
    Consequently and with out further ado, our society has turned into a consumer society, that is to say a society in which people consume for the sake of consuming.

    best regards et à trés bientôt les amis

  12. Peter says:

    I have gone far enough in English language that I know that the language is too ornate.
    I am wondering how you manage to learn most part of it.
    Seriously ,there is a trick to it?
    I m not tooting my horn ,but I know lots of classy words ,expressions and so on still every single day I come across sth new.
    Seems like,you know all these already
    How did you manage to do this.
    Is there any trick to it?

  13. Betty says:

    First of all, I would like to express my thanks to God, who is obviously taking good care of everyone on earth, for his kindness in listening to all our prayers to wish emiliano’s father all the best.

    We are so happy to read emiliano’s contributions here again.

    Peter you are right, I thought: this topic is a godsend, I really must sit down and think very carefully about what I want to say. It is a likely topic for a Parent-teacher Association meeting. Unfortunately, I cannot write a comment properly this morning because I have to sort out something for my father first. But I hope to write something here later today or tomorrow.

    I really enjoy reading bill wang’s comment for this topic. I am not in Mainland China and so I did not know China is still so behind in terms of democratically educating her school age children. Nevertheless, China has to be very careful and straight because the world is so complicated these days that one small step in the wrong direction could lead to big problems.

    I hope those in the authority are not reading my comment here. I am such a coward when expressing my opinion about my own country.

    Last but not least, I would like to thank Lucy for such a good topic.

    This topic was a question for a school principal whose school needed more money to maintain its standard, but it is a matter of concern for everyone in the society.

    No matter whether we have school age children of our own or not, allowing advertising in school affects us directly or indirectly.

  14. Evgene says:

    In my opinion the Advertising in schools and colleges isn’t bad idea in general but as it has been mentioned above it’s necessary to have special law or act setting the rules and subjects of advertising. Of course, it isn’t acceptable to advertise alcohol or cigarettes or things of sex industry.
    In Russia we haven’t got advertising at schools. I don’t know exactly why but it’s possible the legislation forbids it.
    In Russia almost everywhere the government takes care of the schools and gives money for their activities but this money isn’t enough for working. That’s why in many schools the parents collect money for different events such as holiday, sport or art activities. In the late time It becomes more and more popular to collect money even for repairing of classrooms or for purchasing the furniture or equipment. Usually the parents don’t like this but everybody understand that it’s necessary.
    Some schools have sponsors that donate money or services or materials. In our town, there are two plants which help schools by these ways. As you understand This activity doesn’t make any money for the plants and all that the plants get is the notice about these actions in the local newspapers. Also Sometimes the undertakers try to help schools giving children the pens, papers and so on. All these activities are highly appreciated by residents and local authorities.
    Thanks a lot for this interesting issue for discussing.
    Best wishes, Eugene

  15. Julio says:

    Emiliano, I am sorry that you are having a hard time. I’d like to express my full sympathy to you.
    Regarding to the topic brought up by Dr. Lucy, I completely agree in the fact that is going to be more and more necessary to find out new sources to raise money to partially fund schools and, in general, the education system. Furthermore, the same intent will have to reach other scenarios of public activity. At the begining, it may look like strange, but it will always be better than having to dwindle plenty of very interesting activities for our future and our present, and above all to do it in the education system that is the foundation of tomorrow’s world.
    Best regards from Spain, where we are living a very long weekend,

  16. Tania says:

    Hi! Thank you.

  17. Peter says:

    It is our civic duty to chip in for a greater cause.
    It is time to give sth back to our community and world at large.
    It is the kind of epidemic problem thatvoncerns everybody.
    No matter if you are, like me, foot-loose and fancy-free or,u are like Betty,responsible for something greater than you -that is,your kids!

  18. Peter says:

    Betty is right,
    The question is sth to mull over
    Something to contemplate

  19. johnny says:

    i’ m from shanghai,china. school funding here is not big so severe facing more college even university. our education system doesn’t like your said in the U.S. Basically schools in China being offered in two ways: public schoolgood ,it’s education quality is better and fund afforded by government , the other is private school whose education quality not as good as the former, and also we have to hand out our tuition 16000RMB per semester that is 3 or 4 times than public shcool’s. so for shcool itself they don’t have to consider the short of funding. by the way, the colleging in China cannot catch up with America , if you study at a private college they don’t provide us with science class and music class and other class that superintenant thought useless .

  20. Betty says:

    If I am a public school principal and I am facing the dilemma of having to choose between eliminating the school’s music, art or sports program or allow advertisements to be place in the school, I think I would choose the latter, but not without very strenuous policies on who and what is allowed to be advertised. I would also try to make sure the length of the advertising contracts is as short as possible to prevent long term effect on the school.

    I believe that music, art and sports are very important for the development of children and thus should never be taken away from children. Most companies that would approach the schools to advertise there are children related products anyway, and most children are familiar with all those ‘famous brand’ already, so we probably do not have to worry too much that the advertisements create the ‘need’ in children.

    The school must of course monitor these ‘outsider’ very carefully, and make sure that all advertising materials follow the school guidelines that are designed to protect everyone in school.

    I am not 100% sure about how the schools in Hong Kong maintain their funding, but I believe almost all schools get donations from wealthy business people and from ex-members of the schools. A lot of schools bear the names of a person or a person plus an organisation who contributed substantial amount of money to fund the forming and maintenance of the school.

    In addition, there are some fund raising activities during the year like music performances, School Christmas Fayre, prize draw tickets, etc which involve the pupils and students and their parents.

    Many rich people who donated to school came from a poor background. And, because of the war etc., they were excluded from good proper education when they were little. They understand how painful it is if children are not allowed to have good proper education, so they donate money to fund this most important cause.

    I sincerely hope that the economy will come good very soon and principals in schools will not have to ‘sell their blood’ to maintain the schools.

    P.S. In order to understand more about this topic, I found a useful web page which provides very good materials for thinking. You can find the article entitled “Advertising in Schools” by searching for “kidsource advertising in schools.”

  21. Peter says:

    Morning Eslpod,
    Interacting with this page really put me in a better mood.
    Sometimes things doesn’t work the way you though they would be. But,that is life. Harsh,bitter,and brutal with no particle of sentiment. Well,we fail ,we learn ,and we move on.
    Still fixating on the school funding.
    This topic could be on for quite gives a good ground for discussion. But,seems like cold wether got to everybody so deep that it makes them reluctant to go out of their way and participate.
    Kudos on the topic,Lucy. You are a good person. Good things must happen to you.
    It is – 15 down here with no windchil. With windchill, feels like -25 .cold alert Is in place. It was on yesterday too and continue today as well.Eslpod enjoy every Bit of warm sunshine down there ,that you don’t know how good you have it . I m sheltering in a coffee house out of the frigidity that has rampaged the city.I switch life with you Eslpod.

  22. Peter says:

    Betty ,
    By length of adds,I guess you mean the content
    You lost me there.
    Yes,it is so through that in a school setting the adds that are suggestive or promot a kind of negative attitude or immoral behavior must be vann. But,I gotta say ,I m not too sure if I agree with you on the length of an add posting in a given school. The content must follow a format. By that I mean, the school adds must follow a guideline set forth by the ministry of education. The advertisement company must be obliged by-laws ( different state, as you know by-law is laws that is in place for just one city . It has nothing to do with federal laws) to use the guideline as frame of reference foe running adds around the common area of a public school. So ,as long as the ad companies move within the stipulation it would benefit everybody. School can line its money shortage in different area ,at the same time students and faculty members kind of get educated with the positive ,informative content of the adds
    ,especially , when it promot some new marked down products with coupons and everything. Ad companies on the other hand can make a descent living out of the proceeds. At the end of the day , every body happy.
    Schoos get money to run their full curriculum around the year, students gets to educate properly and ad companies make a lucrative business out of it.
    To conclude , the proceeds go to kids in schools. With the money make out of add posting principals get to expand school facilities. So , kids end up with nothing but a better environment to feed their brains in.
    Sorry ,If I am off or my wording is awful. I just checked the first part of Betty’s thought on the whole thing and then ran this nonesense without a prep ritual
    Of any kind.
    Peace out!
    P.S Sorry for all the shortcomings , if you spot any
    All is spontaneous.
    The thing is , I don’t write , I just talk on this page.
    Please don’t get me wrong I m not boastful and Definitly I am not implying anything here.
    All sorts of success for you guys

  23. Betty says:

    If I have to choose between eliminating upper-level math or science courses and school advertising, I will certainly choose school advertising.

    We all know that math and science courses produce the science minded citizens who are the key factors in any technology, medical and engineering. And they are very important in terms of keeping the country competitive in the world.

    I propose to borrow Chris Budd’s words in the debate on 14th September 2010, which gave us one of the examples to support the argument that math and science are utmost important.

    He said: “This debate is occurring over the internet. Every day, billions of pounds-worth of business is done over the internet, and it has transformed our lives. However, without science and mathematics none of this would be possible. We rely on scientific developments to make the internet reliable and easy to use, and mathematics underpins both the security systems used to make secure transactions of funds over it and the way that huge amounts of data can be transmitted without any errors. Google, one of the world’s biggest companies, used daily by billions of people, was founded by two maths/computer science PhD students and is based on mathematical ideas that would have been considered very pure and abstract until recently. Without fundamental scientific and mathematical discoveries we would not have mobile phones, computers, modern medicine, electrical power, TV or a transport system. Indeed, the modern world would not exist without science and mathematics”.

    There is another interesting article entitled “Innovation Starts with Math and Science Education” written by Gene Quinn which is worth a read.

  24. Peter says:

    Next topic would be the sky-rocketing tuition fees.
    It is too much already.
    It is fancy ,
    You are forked over a big chunk sum of money to get a certain rxperties with a already-saturated job demands for it.
    You get a degree document that cost you something in the neighborhood of 20000 dollars ,and funny thing Is you can’t make one peny out of.
    Let’s for next topic put that under study.
    Believe you me,it is a general wondering why we are being stripped down a remarkable amount of money for getting some kinds of credentials.
    Isn’t education supposed to be for free ,As It is the case in some Europ countries. University educations are free there.

  25. Peter says:

    Truly, Canada lives up to the hype that it Is a subarctic country. You don’t wanna know how brutaly cold is here.
    It is crazy cold ,and it is not winter yet.

  26. Peter says:

    Betty,seems like the topic totally relate to you, you did an extensive soul searching over the topic already.

  27. roberto says:

    I agree with Betty when she says that if she were a public school principal it would be difficult to choose between eliminate school subjects (music, arts..) or allow advertisements in schools. But in my opinion a healthy society requires an excellent education and mix up culture and business is not a good idea. I wish your predictions about a better times were correct.

    However, I hope, better I desire, that my country haven´t to face this problem because we must protect children and to put advertisements in schools is not a good option. Who would select the advertisements? Is a McDonald´s advertisement bad for our children? Better Burger King? Aren´t there enough advertisements in life?

    Emiliano, I want to wish you the best for your father. I hope your father and you have a very good time together in these holidays and new year that come.

    Thank Lucy for this topic. You always make our mind to work.

  28. emiliano says:

    There is a yearly inform that it´s called Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and it´s an evaluation of 15-year-old school pupils’ scholastic performance. It is coordinated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), with a view to improving educational policies and outcomes. Another similar study is the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study.

    Well in this PISA inform, to our shame, Spain is not approved. Our place in the list of the three elementary subjects “Reading Comprehension” “Mathematics” and “Science” is very low, far down from the middle what it´s incredible bad.

    Finland, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and other countries like Canada or New Zealand are in the ten first places.
    United States or United Kingdom are not so good situated, bad not so bad as Spain.
    The educational level in Spain has going down since the year 1990 when the socialist program of education took place.
    I could remember that in this program LOGSE doesn´t do any importance to the necesity of children reading and understanding
    what is read as young as possible.
    Now, after 20 years Spain is very bad considerated in the PISA inform + also that effort isn´t considarated in the Logse educational
    progrogram and the youngs could pass from a course to the following without being aproved in the matters.

    My daughters started to read when they were four or five years old, now in Spain some children can´t read with eight or nine years old.
    If a person read and don´t get the gist of the subject it´s impossible to know anything about science or mathematics.
    This is just our problem here, just reading and understanding the subject of the them we are reading it´s the bigest intellectual effort a person could do along his life.
    If our children don´t do this effort soon they would have problems for ever, they couldn´t understand mathematics or Science, and so on.

    Here also all the the exams are with test, nothing to write or to say aloud. Not any oral exposure about a subject……and the result is that in future they can´t exposure anything clearly or properly and having an interviewing for a job it should be always very difficult.

    Teaching in some countries is a matter of political concepts and ideas.
    Here now there is a misinterpretation of history and geography what is really very bad too, and I am pesimist about this form of educate our children.
    One of the last problems in the schools was if the religion signs must be on the walls or not.
    To have a crucifix on the wall was the big problem to some parents, and they wanted that all signs of religious need to be off from the schools, public or private religious it doesn´t matter.
    These parents don´t care about mathematic or science, but they were very concern having a religious sign on the wall.
    Our goverment clapped this idea and they wanted to be off with all the crucifixes of the schools………, incredible.

    What can I remember about my own education?
    Few, of course, but I know that with four years I could read, the same as Cuca my wife.
    We had few books to read, but every one was a treasure.
    Cuca and me liked to read comics, the were cheaper and we used to change them among other boys and girls, and it was the beginining of reading every kind of books along my/her life.
    Reading and understanding what is read is the base for everything, and as soon children could start the better for them.
    Also oral expositions and writing exams are fundamental for everykind of education.
    I had the three subjects in my youth, and effort was rewarded with good ratings. We were proud of having good ratings, now?
    I don´t really think this is the way in this country.
    Thank you to all of you, I am very thankful for your good wishes and your notes touched my heart every moment I was reading the Blog.
    If my old father could read so many good wishes from all of you he would be very happy.
    Dear Roberto, so nice to see you again thank you very much.
    I have no words to everyone of you, but it´s really encouraging to have you here.
    Thank you Lucy, Jeff, and Warren this is really an incredible good Blog, to me the best of all that´s for sure.


  29. Peter says:

    Lucy always gives us something to work on.
    I know it is alot of me on this page.
    Seems like everybody just laughed in my face on what I came up earlier.
    It is cool!

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