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Adrift: Schools in a Total Marketing Environment. The Tenth Annual Report on Schoolhouse Commercialism Trends: 2006-2007

Commercialism appears to be alive and well, in society at large and in schools. In 2007, we see a marketing environment that recognizes few boundaries. Advertisers ply their trade wherever they can and even engage consumers as collaborators in their marketing strategies. This “total environment” of marketing is enabled in part by new technologies that allow advertisements to appear in places they could not have been before, such as video games, social networking websites, and cell phones. It is also the result of greater cultural acceptance of marketing as an everyday fact of life, a friendly political environment, and a willingness on the part of marketers and advertisers to breach boundaries that previously limited their activities. Whereas, for example, there used to be a clear boundary between “editorial content” (e.g., television programming, magazine articles, or school curricula) and advertisements, we now see the judges on American Idol sipping from Coca-Cola cups, the debonair cavemen from Geico commercials starring in their own television program, and Disney Publishing providing comics to schools for a reading program.