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NJ Schools Take on Ad Money From Local Businesses

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Phelyan Sanjoin / flickr

Schools are becoming more like businesses in this struggling economy, in that you are seeing schools struggle to contain costs.  The answer more and more across the country has been the influx of advertising into schools – in the halls, on the ball fields and even in yearbooks.

The idea seems to make sense.  Ads on the outfield fences of your school’s baseball field gives it an authentic look of any ballpark across the country plus brings the needed dollars schools need.

Does an ad in a yearbook take away from the yearbook?  Having an ad saying “this yearbook has been done this year thanks in part to …..” with an ad for the local business seems to be a win-win for all involved.

While this may make dollars and sense, not everyone in NJ is on board with this idea.  Mike Yaple of the NJ School Boards Association recently stated “some communities are all for it and they want their school board members to do whatever they can to control costs, while others want nothing to do with it – it really depends on where you are and what district you’re in”.

Yaple and the board are making sure that this tool does not get taken over by ads, like having advertising on vending machines or on the side of their building.  Last month the state came up with ground rules for advertising on school buses (like ads on buses may not be about gambling, alcohol or tobacco and they cannot glorify violence).

“We did an informal survey a few weeks ago on the school bus advertising issue and about a quarter of school board members said they’ll discuss the issue.  About an equal amount said they don’t want to address the issue at all,” said Yaple. “So, again, it’s up to the individual districts to decide what they want to do.”

Watch your local school and see what kind of ad growth comes in the next year.

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