Advertising in the classroom

I am taking an adult ed course at a local high school’s tech center. I have noticed that in our classroom, are large advertising banners for tool companies(This room is used for building trades class during the school day). Many public schools in my area are in rough shape, and this could be a source of needed funds. Is this a slippery slope towards corporate control of education? The example I saw seems okay to me in isolation, but I am worried about the precedent it sets.

Is it a public or private school? If it’s public, I’m not sure, but I’d say they probably shoudn’t be. If it’s private, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Also, my WAG is that they didn’t “pay” for the advertising, in the sense of writing a check to the school, but probably donated some tools. If Milwaukee/Dewalt/Hilti etc gave the school a couple thousand dollars worth of tools, I could understand them doing it. If any of the banners are less ‘tool brands’ and more ‘local businesses’ I’d be even more okay with it.
Also, it’s entirely possibly, but I don’t know, that the school was given some of those banners with no strings attached and the tech ed teacher just hung them up because they liked them with no thought given to how they may be considered advertising. Walk into any shop (mechanic/welding/woodworking etc) and you’re likely to find stickers on toolboxes, banners on the wall etc. Sure, it’s advertising, but brand loyal people like to display that type of stuff.

I don’t think it’s a slippery slope towards corporate control of education. If a brand wants to donate X dollars to a school (in money or tools), the school will likely be happy to take it, even if it means putting up a few banners. I suppose an alternative could be that tuition for those classes (paid by students or taxpayers) could be reduced by some percentage of the ad revenue/donation to make sure the school doesn’t come to depend on it.

Having said all that, I know of at least one industry that absolutely bans that type of thing. No (brand) advertising of type is allowed. All the way down to thing like pens or clipboards or magnets aren’t allowed to have any type of manufacturer name on them.

The school I saw this in was a public school.

Not actual advertising, but as mentioned above if a business donates a lot of stuff to a school, it’s nice to let people know.

As I said earlier, I could kinda go either way on that. Like Rhiannon said, if they donated money (cash or equipment) they’re going to want to let people know. I’d be curious to know more of the details though. Did the shop teacher hang them because he liked them, end of story? Did they give the tech ed program, say, $25,000 (IOW, well more than what would be paid for advertising to a very small audience) and they said ‘hey, ya think you could toss up a banner or two’? Was it straight advertising, as in ‘if you put up one of our banners, will cut you a check for $500 a year’? Something else.

If it really is an issue, being a public school, maybe they could add a line on the banner to the extent of “Show your school ID, get 10% off at the outlet store/website”. It may then, at least appear that, show that they’re simply trying to help the students get in to the trade (and build brand loyalty).

Come to think of it I think many brands do actually offer student discounts for just this reason. I don’t know, however, if ‘advertising’ in the classroom is part of it though.

Curious, what brand was it? I’d have little issue with some local, mom and pop, business. Milwaukee/Dewalt/Makita etc I don’t think I’d even notice it. Mac/OTC/Snap-On (tool truck brands) are the ones I’d be concerned about. Get’em started in school and they won’t know any different when they’re in the real world. I’ve read accounts of mechanics getting pretty deep in debt with those guys.

At my college the petroleum engineering department had a fact book donated by Halliburton so every petroleum engineer graduates with a book that says Halliburton. From what I’ve heard they do this at most of the major petroleum schools. I know the sales reps from Baker Hughes bitched every time they saw it on my desk but I was so used to using it after school I didn’t want to give it up and Baker was too cheep to try and do their own donation.

Of course now that school also has most of the classrooms in the Petroleum building sponsored by industry. This is a public school so it happens at most levels.

Coca-cola sells, not gives but sells product to our County wide highschool. I volunteer in the concession stand for sports events. We buy far and above more coke product than the whole school system. There are a few cokes machines in the teachers lounges. And the cafeterias buy minutemaid juice products. I am telling you the sales reps will scream you down if you even think of buying another brand. The coaches asked us to mix their Gatorade powder up and a rep saw us doing it. He went ballistic. The coaches had to start buying Powerade product. Coke adverts are all over the school signage and vehicles. It’s crazy. We are obviously a big account with them, you think they would be nicer.
ETA for clarification, the booster club runs the concession stands.

That’s likely because your school has a contract with coke and part of the contract, if i had to guess, says that all beverages sold on school property must be coke products. Is it delivered directly from Coke? In my area, buying direct from Coke is ridiculously expensive Like 2-3x the price that it would be if you got it pretty much anywhere else (at least for cans of soda, I’m not sure about other drinks, but I think bag in a box is closer to a normal price). I’m guessing getting a contract with them, with an exclusivity clause brings the price down to well below what it would be to bring in Pepsi products.

IMO, that’s not advertising so much as it is the school district trying to keep costs down.

When I was in high school, we got someting called Channel One. The company provided TVs for every classroom (CRTs, of course, mounted on a corner of a wall) that the school could use for whatever, but every mourning during home room we had to watch their news program, complete with (IIRC) teen-targeted commercials. It was an interesting time to have it, though–we got to watch Gulf War I.

Signs or banners, or their name on instructional materials, from business donating products/equipment to schools, public or private, is perfectly fine in my book.

I’d hang a DeWalt banner in my garage if they gave me a butt-load of tools.

You know how to find me. :wink:

As long as they don’t try to hang a Pepsi banner in my Econ. classroom I don’t have a problem with it, so long as the banner came with a hefty donation. Heck, that’s how we paid for our stadium upgrade. The fences around the stadium and tennis courts are solid local business banners.

Come to think of it, if Pepsi did want to hang banners in my room, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. I’d just make them the focus of every possible lesson I could on the negatives of their product and/or advertising. :smiley:

Are these companies getting unavoidable advertising foisted on the children and a tax write-off?

And soon they might not re-up on their donation unless classes teach students to replace parts, not rebuild them.:smiley:

And we have some new guidelines on when XYZ fails a safety test and needs to be replaced.:rolleyes:

Been there, done that, have the student loans to prove it.:o:D

just think of the opportunities! pencils at every school desk. Free Pepsi labeled kickballs. Baseball bats covered with advertisers logos. How far can we go?

Do a Google search on “sponsored educational materials” and you’ll see examples of stuff provided by companies to burnish their images or to advertise to the students. Like a “coloring activity book” featuring “Subman” and sponsored by Subway restaurants. (I suppose that’s better than inviting Jared Fogle, their former spokesman, into schools.) Or a video about how you can drive to see nature, stopping at a Shell Oil station along the way to fuel up.

Many, many schools are poorly or underfunded so I can see the appeal of free educational materials to teachers with limited resources. But it’s insidious and a bad idea.

I graduated high school in 1984 and don’t remember seeing any sponsored stuff, aside from ads in the yearbook, drama club programs and textbook covers.

Technically (I believe) they have to subtract the income/revenue they would have received from the amount they write off. So they can make a 25,000 donation, but if the fair market value of the “advertising” is $500, they could only write off 24,500. However, I don’t know if it’s actually done in practice and I’d imagine that there’s plenty of time where the person taking care of it just tosses them a few banners (no strings attached wink wink) and they happen to get put on the wall because the shop teacher likes the brand.

Hey, silenus, how do you feel about Pepsi?

Advertising such as banners isn’t nearly as creepy as the data being collected from children using tech in the classroom.


Now who can tell me the atomic weight of bolognium?