NEWS: Industry spurns plans for ad sites in schools

The advertising industry is set to shun a proposed scheme to bring ads into the nation’s schools.

The advertising industry is set to shun a proposed scheme to bring ads

into the nation’s schools.

Teachers, parents, consumer groups and the Labour Party reacted with

outrage to reports that the Government will allow schools to raise money

by selling ad space in classrooms and corridors.

Nigel Griffiths, Labour’s consumer affairs spokesman, immediately called

on the Advertising Standards Authority to scupper the plan. Meanwhile,

consumer groups expressed fear that the UK could follow the lead of some

US schools, where schools broadcasting combines educational programmes

with commercial messages.

The US operation of Saatchi and Saatchi is among the agencies that use

the medium to advertise cereal products for its General Mills client.

But Lionel Stanbrook, the political affairs director of the Advertising

Association, forecast that the scheme would be stillborn.

‘The teaching environment and commercial advertising aren’t a good fit,’

he said. ‘My instinct tells me big brands will never be involved in

school advertising.’

Jennifer Laing, the Saatchis UK chairman, said: ‘You’d need a code of

conduct that would be impossible to write. It’s an attractive

proposition for marketers, but it would probably backfire.’

The ASA said it had no power to prevent the scheme going ahead, although

any ads running in schools would have to conform to its rules.

The plan has been touted to more than 5,000 secondary schools, colleges

and universities by Imagination for School Media Marketing, a

Colchester-based company, which is offering schools the chance to swell

their funds by renting their wall-space.

The company claims that up to 700 schools have shown an interest in

earning pounds 1,740 a year for displaying a minimum of 25 posters.


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