Ads in schools scheme delayed

A plan to put poster billboards into hundreds of Britain’s secondary schools has been delayed as advertisers continue to shun the controversial initiative.

A plan to put poster billboards into hundreds of Britain’s

secondary schools has been delayed as advertisers continue to shun the

controversial initiative.



Only one advertiser - understood to be a driving school - has so far

signed up. As a result, the scheme, which was to have been up and

running at the beginning of the year, has been put back to the middle of

March.



But Imagination for School Media Marketing, the Essex-based company that

has been developing the idea for the past three years, is convinced it

will eventually succeed.



Mike Wilsher, one of the company’s executives, said: ’It has been

frustrating because we expected too much success too soon. We’re

learning as we go along, but we know we’ll be successful because we can

deliver an audience advertisers can’t reach any other way.’



The company claims to have agreement from 370 schools to earn up to

pounds 5,000 a year by allowing advertisers to pitch their messages

directly to pupils.



A further 560 have expressed interest.



Meanwhile, the company is asking participating schools for more detailed

information about what advertising they are prepared to permit, where

they will allow billboards to be located and if they will allow pupils

to fill in questionnaires about the ads they see.



Wilsher said a major reason for advertisers’ reluctance to take part was

that participating schools were too thinly scattered across the

country.



’In some regions 12 per cent of secondary schools have signed, in others

it’s as little as 2 per cent,’ he explained. ’Perhaps we should have

concentrated more on a single television area.’



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