Dec. 7, 2011
In-School Advertising Is the Wrong Way to Raise Revenue for Flagler County
Letter Describes Advertising’s Harmful Effects on Developing Children
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Flagler County Public Schools should not move forward with plans to sell advertising on school sites and naming rights to district assets, Public Citizen said in a letter sent today to the school board.
Pursuing this path would raise little revenue and undermine Flagler County’s educational and child development mission, the letter said. The advertisements would bring only miniscule financial benefits. Moreover, the board is considering hiring a consulting firm to assist in the sale of advertising space, but such firms typically take anywhere from 20 to 50 percent of advertising revenues.
“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 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.”
Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.citizen.org.