Recently, Louisville, KY negotiated a deal with Kentucky Fried Chicken to have KFC pay to fill in pot holes in exchange for the right to advertise on those potholes. Upon hearing this, the first thought I had was about the ugliness of the advertising that accompanies the over commercialization in our society. However, a few days later, I heard an NPR story about another creative advertising scheme.
“In a cash-strapped Idaho high school, where signs taped near every light switch remind the staff to save electricity, an enterprising teacher has struck a sponsorship deal with a local pizza shop: Every test, handout and work sheet he passes out to his students reads MOLTO’S PIZZA 14″ 1 TOPPING JUST $5 in bright red, inch-high letters printed along the bottom of each page.”
Is it really that bad? Is that really how we want to finance education in this country? We should all be thankful that, in Oklahoma, we haven’t pitted properly funding such a critical public service as education against selling advertising and endorsing something that may not be healthy for our children. Could you imagine if the schools were so underfunded that they relied on the revenue from Coca-Cola or Pepsi to make their budgets? Could you imagine if we, as a community, were so unwilling to pay the necessary amount required to ensure that our next generation was properly educated and healthy that we were willing to allow them to fill their maturing bodies with caffeine and corn syrup and potato chips just so that the school districts could get the revenue from soda companies and vending machines? Let’s be thankful that we have not become that off base in our priorities…or have we?