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Advertisers target a captive market : school kids.
In Colorado Springs, Colo., public-school students pile into buses adorned with 7Up ads and Burger King logos. At Country Heights Elementary in Owensboro,, Ky., children read books to earn free pan pizzas from Pizza Hut.
Once relatively free from reminders of the outside commercial world,schools today are fast becoming billboards for corporate messages. Some school districts, like Colorado Springs, actively solicit advertisements to make money ; others let logos sneak in with free company-sponsored posters, brochures and coupons.. Whatever their port of entry into the schools, advertisements and product endorsements are creating a stir across the country. While supporters argue theyare harmless, critics blast school-based commercial plugs as not only distasteful but manipulative and often educationally mislaeding as well.
High on the critics’hit list are the traditional forms of advertising that greet schoolchildren each day : the Reebok commercials on Channel One television, which is featured in many classrooms, the Coca-colla spots on Star Broadcasting radio, whichis piped into schools, the slicks signs on school buses. With kids and young adults spending an estimated $ 102 billion annually and influencing their families to spend an additonal $ 130 billion, students are a powerful market and a captive audience for ads.
Even more disturbing, critics believe, are the « educational » posters and lesson plans sponsored by companies and trade groups. Whilesome certainly offer sound information, many aare biased by the interests of their makers, often giving kids incomplete or incorrect data. ‘The cereal copanies critize all the fat in the diets but don’t mention the sugar,, », notes Consumers Union’s Charlotte Baecher.
Many experts fear that corporate messages are more powerful when delivered in schools_presumably institutions that studentstrust . Lifetime Learning Systems, which produces school-based materials for companies and trade associations, acknowledges that this is the intended goal. »Coming from school, all these materials carry an extra measure of credibility that gives your messages added weight, » » boasts one of its informational brochures.
The cold reality , experts admit, is that many cash-strapped schools seecompany ads and corporate handouts as the best way to fill their coffers with dollars and their classrooms with free goods. While critics sympathize, they are firm in their opposition to commercial infuences. « We all know schools are chronically underfunded. Theey need materials, equipment and the things to motivate kids », concedes Baecher. « But companies should not be marketing in the classroom.»
U.S. News and World Report, April 24, 1995.
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Our class.....is an article extracted from U.S News & World Report, which was written on April 24th 1995. It deals with a problem typical of capitalism. The USA is the symbol of capitalism, everything is good to make money. Advertisements invade the American schools but theyhave their side-effects. We can divide this article into 3 parts.
The first part goes from line 1 to line 8: Invasion of advertisements in American schools.
The second part goes from line 9 to line 22: Denounciation of their methods and their impact on children’s lives.
The third part goes from line 23 to the end: Should schools resort to advertising.
I. This article starts with two preciseexamples of the invasion of advertisements. One in Colorado and the other one in Kentucky. They underline that advertising at school is a widespread phenomenon. The product they usually advertised is food, they call it Junk Food because it is not very healthy (soft drinks, candies, chocolate bars and cereals), they also advertise sportswears.
Advertising did not use to penetrate schools...
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