Presentation on theme: "SELLING OUT OUR SCHOOLS"— Presentation transcript:
1SELLING OUT OUR SCHOOLS Gary RuskinCommercial Alert
2Commercial Alert is a national nonprofit consumer and public health organization that protects children and communities from commercialism.
3Disclosure StatementI have no relevant financial relationships with the manufacturer(s) of any commercial product(s) and/or provider of commercial services discussed in this CME activity. I do not intend to discuss an unapproved/investigative use of a commercial product/device in my presentation.
4Today’s Agenda Why companies want to advertise in schools Latest news and controversiesWhy advertising shouldn’t be allowed in schoolsHow you can remove corporate advertising and marketing from schools in your city, state and across the country
5Why Companies Want to Advertise to School Children Children spend a lot of time at schoolSchool children are a captive audience“The biggest selling point to advertisers,” lies in “forcing kids to watch two minutes of commercials”-- Joel Babbit, former president of Channel One(Source: Joel Babbit, “Channel One Vision,” paper presented to the On the Youth Market conference, Boston, May 5-6, 1994.)
6Why Companies Want to Advertise to School Children (continued) Advertisers use the authority of the school as a marketing toolSchool is good place for companies to brand children“The school system is where you build brand loyalty.”-- John Alm, president of Coca-Cola Enterprises(Source: Scott Leith, “A Lesson for Coke; Atlanta-based CCE Takes on Critics, Defends Soft-drink Sales in Schools,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 6, 2003.)
7Bus Radio Bus Radio is a new startup company Installs audio equipment in school busesShow includes music, “entertainment programming,” “cartoon updates,” “oddball news wire” and PSAs”8 minutes of ads per hourTargets grades 1-12 (that is, children as young as five years old).Promises funding to schools based on an obfuscated “formula”More information about Bus Radio available at:
8Bus Radio (continued) Bus Radio claims: It “will take targeted student marketing to the next level”Advertisers will get “a unique and effective way to reach the highly sought after teen and tween market.”Ads for one movie it promoted “received recall rates in the 90% range”Source: Bus Radio’s website
9Bus Radio’s PlansIn the school year: 100,000 children in 800 school busesOperating in California, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and WashingtonNext year: 1 million children nationwide
10Products Advertised on Bus Radio The WB television network and its programs (renamed the CW network)Warner Brothers moviesVirgin Mobile mobile phones
11Groups Opposing Bus Radio Action Coalition for Media EducationAlliance for ChildhoodAmerican Family AssociationCalifornia Center for Public Health AdvocacyCampaign for a Commercial-Free ChildhoodCenter for a New American DreamCenter for Science in the Public InterestCenter for Screen-Time AwarenessChildren NowConcerned Women for AmericaCommercial AlertConsumers UnionEagle ForumGlobal ExchangeMassachusetts Action for Healthy KidsMassachusetts Public Health AssociationMomsRisingNational Council of Churches Committee on Public Education and LiteracyNational PTAObligation, Inc.Organic Consumers AssociationParents’ Action for ChildrenSojournersThe Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Child AdvocacyUnitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
12Channel One 12+ minutes of TV programming each school day Audience: more than 7 million studentsLoans TV sets to schools in exchange for playing programming in classroomsProgramming includes news stories, banter, quizzes, musicAt least two minutes of ads per show, plus other commercial messages, sales pitches, etc.Consumes a total of one full school week per school year, including one full school day just for adsMore information about Channel One is available at:
13Products That Have Been Advertised on Channel One Soda pop (Pepsi, Pepsi Blue, Mountain Dew)Junk food (Snickers, McDonald’s, Twinkies, Winterfresh gum)Violent & crass movies (“Starsky & Hutch,” “Monkeybone,”“Supernova,” “Rollerball,”“Dude, Where’s My Car”)(We define junk food as: foods or beverages that are relatively high in saturated or trans fat, added sugar or salt, and relatively low in vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber.)Source: Obligation, Inc. Video footage of Channel One commercials is at:
14Smoking Class: How Schools and Channel One Promote Tobacco to Students Cinema portrayals of tobacco are highly effective in luring young people into the ranks of tobacco users – even more so than conventional advertisingAdolescents who see plenty of smoking on screen are nearly three times more likely to start smoking than those who see the leastIt is estimated that each year smoking in movies recruits 390,000 new young smokers in the United StatesSources: Madeline A. Dalton, James D. Sargent, Michael L. Beach, Linda Titus-Ernstoff, Jennifer J. Gibson, M. Bridget Ahrens, Jennifer J. Tickle, Todd F. Heatherton, “Effect of Viewing Smoking in Movies on Adolescent Smoking Initiation: A Cohort Study.” The Lancet, July 26, (9380):281-5.Stanton A. Glantz, “Smoking in Movies, A Major Problem and a Real Solution.” The Lancet, July 26, 2003;362(9380):258-9.
15Smoking Class (continued) Commercial Alert studied movie ads on Channel One from 1/1/00 to 5/31/05We identified 67 movies advertised during that period40 of those movies (59.7%) had scenes showing smokingReport is available at:
16Ads More Effective Than News on Channel One Study of 240 7th and 8th gradersStudents remembered an average of 3.5 ads but only 2.7 news storiesSource: Erica Weintraub Austin, Yi-Chun “Yvonnes” Chen, Bruce E. Pinkleton and Jessie Quintero Johnson, “Benefits and Costs of Channel One in a Middle School Setting and the Role of Media Literacy Training.” Pediatrics 2006; 117;
17Alternatives to Channel One Channel One does nothing in schools that cannot be done better, but without the commercial advertising.Many alternatives to Channel One do not require students to watch advertising: (newspaper and magazine articles, CNN Student News, etc.)
18Hard Times at Channel One Losing schools and audience: from 8.3 million viewers to “more than seven million”Losing advertisers and ad revenuesThree Channel One/Primedia lobbyists pled guilty in 2006 to corruption charges (including the now-infamous Jack Abramoff)
19Groups Opposing Channel One American College of Preventive MedicineAction Coalition for Media EducationAlliance for ChildhoodAmerican Family AssociationCalifornia Center for Public Health AdvocacyCampaign for a Commercial-Free ChildhoodCenter for a New American DreamCenter for Science in the Public InterestCenter for Screen-Time AwarenessChildren NowConcerned Women for AmericaCommercial AlertConnecticut Public Health Association Consumers UnionEagle ForumFocus on the FamilyGlobal ExchangeMassachusetts Action for Healthy KidsMaryland Public Health AssociationMassachusetts Public Health AssociationMichigan Public Health AssociationMomsRisingNational Council of Churches Committee on Public Education and LiteracyNew Mexico Public Health Association National PTAObligation, Inc.Organic Consumers AssociationParents’ Action for ChildrenSojournersSouthern Baptist ConventionThe Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Child AdvocacyUnitarian Universalist Association of CongregationsUnited Methodist ChurchYale Prevention Research Center
20Clinton/AHA/American Beverage Association Agreement Restricts the sale of soda pop in schools by school yearOnly water, unsweetened juice and low-fat milks to elementary and middle schoolsDiet sodas and “sports drinks” are allowed for sale in high schools
21Clinton/AHA/American Beverage Assn. Agreement (continued) Agreement is entirely voluntaryNot enforceableNo enforcement provisionsNo penalties for companies that fail to meet terms of agreementSchools not a party to agreementAgreement does not limit in-school advertising or marketingBottom line: the agreement will likely have little, if any, effect
22Clinton/AHA/Food Manufacturers Agreement Weak standardsRestricts most “competitive foods” (foods sold outside school meals programs) to a limit of 35% of total calories from fat, 10% from saturated fat, and 35% for sugar content by weight.
23Clinton/AHA/Food Manufacturers Agreement (continued) Agreement is entirely voluntaryNot enforceableNo enforcement provisionsNo penalties for companies that fail to meet terms of agreementIndependent vendors not a party to agreementSchools not a party to agreementAgreement does not limit in-school advertising or marketingBottom line: the agreement will likely have little, if any, effect
24Enforcement of Federal Competitive Foods Rule Existing federal rules prohibit the sale of “foods of minimal nutritional value” during mealtimes in school cafeterias.Last year, Commercial Alert petitioned USDA to enforce current rules, which schools often disobeyUSDA refused to enforce current rules against sale of FMNVs
25Other Forms of Advertising in Schools Sponsored educational materialsSchool book coversWall postersAds on busesBillboardsScoreboard adsOther signageVending machines adsAds on in-school fast food storefrontsIncentive programs (i.e. Pizza Hut’s “Book It” program)Product placement in school booksSale of naming rights to parts of schools, or even entire schools
26Arguments Against Advertising to School Children Improper use of the compulsory schooling laws and state power for private purposesAdvertising of unhealthy products harms children’s healthAds in the classroom waste school time and tax dollars
27Arguments Against Advertising to School Children (continued) Purpose of advertising is antithetical to the purpose of educationPromotes the wrong values to children (i.e. materialism)Corrupts the integrity of public educationChildren should not be for sale
28What Can Pediatricians Do to Help Stop Advertising to School Children? Advocate at federal, state and local levels for:Commercial-free schoolsBans on Bus Radio, Channel OneChildhood Obesity Prevention Agenda, to stop the sale and marketing of junk food in schools
29Childhood Obesity Prevention Agenda, part 1 States, municipalities and school boards should prohibit the marketing of junk food on school property.Prohibit contracts that obligate children to watch or listen to ads for junk food on school property. An example is Channel One, an in-school TV marketing program.Prohibit display of visual advertisements for junk food in school, such as billboards, signs, posters, and logo placements.Prohibit the use of corporate-sponsored curricula featuring or promoting junk food products.Prohibit exclusive marketing (pouring rights) contracts between soda beverage companies and school districts, school food service agencies and school groups.
30Childhood Obesity Prevention Agenda, part 2 States, municipalities and school boards should ban the sale or distribution of junk food on school property.Prohibit sale of junk food on school property, including, but not limited to, a la carte, before-school or after-school programs, concession stands or vending machines.Prohibit the distribution of junk food as a reward or prize for good behavior or exemplary performance.Prohibit distribution of free samples of junk food on school property.Amend Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices statutes and ordinances to prohibit marketing of junk food to children on school property.
31Childhood Obesity Prevention Agenda, part 3 States, municipalities and school boards should provide financial rewards to school districts, schools and food service agencies that exceed federal nutrition guidelines and obey restrictions on the sale of junk food in schools.School districts and school food service agencies should exceed the nutritional standards of the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, especially by providing plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, fat-free dairy products, local and organic products, but no foods with hydrogenated vegetable shortening, and few or no fried foods.School districts and school food service agencies must strictly comply with the federal competitive foods rule.
32Childhood Obesity Prevention Agenda Selected Endorsers Organizations:American College of Preventive MedicineCenter for a New American DreamCenter for Food and JusticeCenter for Media EducationCenter for Science in the Public InterestConnecticut Public Health AssociationCommercial AlertEagle ForumMaryland Public Health AssociationMassachusetts Public Health AssociationMichigan Public Health AssociationNew Mexico Public Health AssociationObligation, Inc.Organic Consumers AssociationYale Prevention Research CenterIndividuals:Lawrence Cheskin (Director, Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center)Greg Critser (author, Fat Land)Cara B. Ebbeling (Harvard Medical School)Leon Eisenberg (Harvard Medical School)Gerald Hass (Harvard Medical School)David Katz (Yale Medical School)Frances Moore Lappe (author, Diet for a Small Planet)Marion Nestle (author, Food Politics)Alvin Poussaint (Harvard Medical School)Raffi (children’s troubadour)Eric Rimm (Harvard School of Public Health)Mary Story (U. of Minnesota)Walter Willett (Harvard School of Public Health)
33Industry Professionals Are Troubled by Marketing to School Children According to a 2004 Harris poll of youth advertising and marketing professionals:only 45% “feel that today’s young people can handle advertising in schools.”47% believe that “schools should be a protected area” and that “there should not be advertising to students on school grounds.”Source: Harris poll, April 13, 2004
34Strong Public Support for Our Side According to a 2004 Yankelovich poll of American consumers:61% feel “the amount of marketing and advertising is out of control.”65% believe that “there should be more limits and regulations on marketing and advertising.”According to a 2005 Wall Street Journal poll:83% of American adults believe "public schools need to do a better job of limiting children's access to unhealthy foods like snack foods, sugary soft drinks and fast food.”Sources: “Consumer Resistance to Marketing Reaches All-Time High,” Yankelovich poll, April 15, 2004; Wall Street Journal poll, February 15, 2005