Parents want school ads ban but say yes to companies' help

Most British parents want advertising to remain outside school gates but would welcome companies that offer to help educate their children.

At the same time as controversy over the promotion of snack food to children rages, parents and teachers have given a thumbs-down to branded vending machines on school campuses. And almost four in ten parents want to ban any involvement in schools by companies deemed to be promoting unhealthy foods.

The verdicts come in research carried out by ICM on behalf of the educational consultancy EdComs.

While 86 per cent of parents were happy to see companies provide work experience for children and 73 per cent wanted them involved in mentoring projects, almost two-thirds were adamant that poster advertising inside schools was unacceptable.

"This research clearly shows that businesses have a role to play in schools," Nick Fuller, the EdComs chief executive, said. "What's also clear, however, is that companies can't simply use schools as another advertising route."

He added: "They have to harness the strength of their brands to provide educational opportunities."

The survey, among 501 parents and 225 teachers across the UK, found that most parents understood companies want to make children aware of their brands because they see them as future customers.