Marketing in the Classroom

Food and beverage companies donate “educational” materials to teachers free of charge because they know that the more often students see or hear their company name and logo, the more likely they will become loyal customers for life. And because the materials are free, lower income schools use them more often. 


Sponsored Educational Materials. Food and drink companies create and give away classroom materials and lesson plans featuring their company’s name, logo, and products. One example is McDonald's Educates, which offers free or reduced price classroom materials on a variety of subjects to interested teachers. 


Channel One. Eight million children around the country watch “Channel One,” a classroom news program. Some schools sign agreements with companies that agree to pay for the Channel One subscription and equipment.  In exchange, students see two minutes of ads during each Channel One program. 


Book Covers. Many companies, including Gatorade, provide students free book covers featuring the company’s logo and products to use for their textbooks.


Commercial Websites. Websites like are a fun way to engage students in hands-on educational activities, but to offer free services, the websites sell advertising space to corporations targeting children and teens. 



Best Practices:

• Raise awareness among school staff about the harmful effects of unhealthy food and beverage marketing to kids.

• Work with your district’s wellness committee to adopt a district-wide wellness policy restricting the use of educational materials created by manufacturers that featuring brand-name foods and beverages 

Learn More:

For more information on how marketing reaches students in schools, visit:

National Education Policy Center's report on Health Threats Associated with Schoolhouse Commercialism

Food Marketing Workgroup Resources on Food Marketing in Schools


TAke Action

  • Raise Awareness
  • Healthy Fundraising
  • strengthen Wellness Policies
  • Legislative Solutions