In-School Advertising Is the Wrong Way to Raise Revenue for Broward County

Nov. 14, 2011 

In-School Advertising Is the Wrong Way to Raise Revenue for Broward County

Letter Describes Advertising’s Harmful Effects on Developing Children

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The School Board of Broward County, Fla., should not move forward with plans for increased commercial advertising on school properties, Public Citizen said in a letter sent today to the school board. Public Citizen also advised the board not to support the proposed state legislation to allow advertising on the outside of school buses.

Increased school advertising would raise little revenue and undermine Broward County’s educational and child development mission, the letter said. Broward County’s foray years ago into advertising inside of school buses proved to be unprofitable. There is little reason to believe that further advertising outside buses would bring greater gains, the letter said.

“Children already are surrounded by near-constant advertising that promotes consumerism and commercial values,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “But the ubiquity of advertising is not a reason for allowing corporate naming rights and in-school advertising to persist; it is a reason why children need a sanctuary from a world where everything seems to be for sale.”

Added Elizabeth Ben-Ishai, campaign coordinator for Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert project, “In-school advertising and marketing schemes convey market rather than civic values and impede the ability of schools to function as open spaces where ideas are freely exchanged and the next generation of public-minded, conscientious and virtuous students can grow.”

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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.citizen.org