Table 2

Marketing Practices Used in US Schools



Product Sales

Food/beverage sales benefiting a district, school, or student activity

• Exclusionary contracts or other arrangements between school districts, or schools and bottlers to sell soft drinks in schools or on school grounds

Branded fast food

• Contracts or other arrangements between districts or schools and fast food companies to sell food in schools or on school grounds

Cash or credit rebate programs

• Programs that award cash or equipment to schools in proportion to the value of store receipts or coupons collected by the schools (e.g., cereal box tops, food product labels)

Fundraising activities

• Short-term sales of candy, pizza, cookie dough, etc. by parents, students, or both to benefit a specific student population or club

Direct Advertising

Advertising in schools, in school facilities, an on school buses

• Billboards and signs in school corridors, sports facilities, or buses

• Product displays

• Corporate logos or brand names on school equipment, such as marquees, message boards, scoreboards, and backboards

• Ads, corporate logos, or brand names on posters, book covers, and student assignment books

Advertisements in school publications

• Ads in sports programs, yearbooks, school newspapers, and school calendars

Media-based advertising

• Televised ads aired by Channel One or commercial stations

• Screen-saver ads, corporate logos or brandnames on computers


• Free snack food or beverages

Indirect Advertising

Corporate-sponsored educational materials

• Teaching materials and nutrition education kits from food corporations that incorporate the sponsor's products or promote the sponsor's brand

• Nutrition information produced by trade associations (e.g., dairy, meat, egg, sugar association)

Corporate-sponsored contests and incentives

• Pizza Hut's Book-It program, McDonald's McSpellIt Club

Corporate grants or gifts

• Corporate gifts to schools that generate commercial benefits to the donor

Market Research

Surveys or polls

• Student questionnaires or taste tests

Internet panels

• Use of the Internet to poll students' responses to computer-delivered questions

Internet tracking

• Tracking students' Internet behavior and responses to questions at one or more websites

Adapted from: US General Accounting Office. Commercial Activities in Schools, 2000.

Story and French International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2004 1:3   doi:10.1186/1479-5868-1-3

Open Data