Corporations Use Schools to Market to Kids
Schools are becoming an integral part of the corporate
marketing plan, with messages aimed at children and their buying parents,
a report released this fall indicates.
"Commercial activities now shape the structure of the
school day, influence the content of the school curriculum, and determine
whether children have access to a variety of technologies," said Alex
Molnar, the director of the Center for the Analysis of Commercialism in
Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Education.
The center's third annual report on schoolhouse commercialism
provides evidence of an increase in school-based marketing to children.
"The effort to more fully integrate the schoolhouse
into corporate marketing plans by securing control over as many school-based
advertising media as possible may well be the trend to watch over the
next decade," Molnar said. "If so, we can expect schools to serve as launch
pads for marketing campaigns that resemble high-profile movie releases,
complete with multiple tie-ins for a variety of products and services
aimed at children and their families."
The report, called "Commercialism@School.com," shows
technology is broadening the opportunities for businesses to engage in
commercial activities in school, and is increasing the reach of school-based
activities to the home.
For example, free Web sites offered by some companies
to schools increase parental awareness of school activities but also increase
advertising aimed at parents for products such as financial services or
The report is available online at:
Posted October 10, 2000