Can Personalized Marketing Go Too Far? Teacher Sells Advertising on Test Pages

by Paul Wilson


I know the economy is struggling, but I was a bit surprised when I stumbled across a NPR story of an Idaho high school selling advertising on their test sheets. It has been over a year since this was reported and I am curious to know how successful this experiment of extreme personalized marketing panned out. Did it help bring in significant amount of funds, and did the advertising businesses feel that they where able to receive an ROI on their advertisements?

This is a unique case study and it makes me wonder how ethical it is to penetrate the academic veil. I know we have advertisements in the schools, like vending machines and other healthy alternatives =), but I wonder what damage we do when we start prostituting the actual learning environment. To me, having interruption advertising on the test teaches the kids that nothing is above the principle of making money.

If you are going to have advertising on the test, you might as well put advertising on the school toilet paper! You definitely would get more views, though you would be competing against the creative artwork and slogans found on the walls of the stalls.

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