Published: Aug. 13, 2015

Authors Alex Molnar and Faith Boninger of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) recently released, "Sold Out: How Marketing in School Threatens Children's Well-Being and Undermines their Education." This book examines the threats school commercialism poses to children's psychological health, physical health, and the integrity of their education: 

"If you strip away the rosy language of “school-business partnership,” “win-win situation,” “giving back to the community,” and the like, what you see when you look at corporate marketing activities in the schools is example after example of the exploitation of children for financial gain.

Over the long run the financial benefit marketing in schools delivered to corporations rests on the ability of advertising to “brand” students and thereby help insure that they will be customers for life. This process of “branding” involves inculcating the value of consumption as the primary mechanism for achieving happiness, demonstrating success, and finding fulfillment. Along the way, “branding” children – just like branding cattle – inflicts pain.

Yet school districts, desperate for funding sources, often eagerly welcome marketers and seem not to recognize the threats that marketing brings to children’s well-being and to the integrity of the education they receive. Given that all ads in school pose some threat to children, it is past time for considering whether marketing activities belong in school. Schools should be ad-free zones."

Sold Out: How Marketing in School Threatens Children's Well-Being and Undermines their Education, by Alex Molnar and Faith Boninger, released in August, 2015 is available from the publisher, at Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

Read the full article here.


Related Faculty: Alex Molnar, Faith Boninger