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#68387 - 05/01/02 07:43 AM Corporate Curriculum
Fiberbabe Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/12/01
Posts: 771
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I was recently entranced by Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation, and I'm dying to get your collective take on some of his tenets. The connection to words is tenuous, although I can assure you that the book is *exclusively* written in them.

One revelation he makes (at least it was a surprise to me) is corporate sponsorship of teaching materials. Set aside the "beverage partnerships" that Coke and Pepsi make with school districts, the barrage of advertising that accompanies the "essential current events" on the Channel One system, this offends me on a far deeper level:


"The spiraling cost of textbooks has led thousands of American school districts to use corporate-sponsored teaching materials. A 1998 study of these teaching materials by the Consumers Union found that 80% were biased, providing students with incomplete or slanted information that favored the sponsor's products and views. Procter & Gamble's Decision Earth program taught that clear-cut logging was actually good for the environment; teaching aids distributed by the Exxon Education Foundation said that fossil fuels created few environmental problems and that alternative sources of energy were too expensive; a study guide sponsored by the American Coal Foundation dismissed fears of a greenhouse effect, claiming that 'the earth could benefit rather than be harmed from increased carbon dioxide.' The Consumers Union found Pizza Hut's Book It! Program - which awards a free Personal Pan Pizza to children who reach targeted reading levels - to be 'highly commercial.' About 20 million elementary school students participated in Book It! during the 1999-2000 school year; Pizza Hut recently expanded the program to include a million preschoolers.
"Lifetime Learning Systems is the nation's largest marketer and producer of corporate-sponsored teaching aids. The group claims that its publications are used by more than 60 million students every year. 'Now you can enter the classroom through custom-made learning materials created with your specific marketing objectives in mind,' Lifetime Learning said in one of its pitches to corporate sponsors. 'Through these materials, your product or point of view becomes the focus of discussions in the classroom,' it said in another, '...the centerpiece in a dynamic process that generates long-term awareness and lasting attitudinal change.' The tax cuts that are hampering America's schools have proved to be a marketing bonanza for companies like Exxon, Pizza Hut, and McDonald's. The money that these corporations spend on their 'educational' materials is fully tax-deductible."


Sorry for the length of the quote, but I felt the context was necessary.

Now, I remember back in 7th or 8th grade (circa 1982-84) when some random lady came into the health classroom, and the teacher asked all the girls to go with her, while the boys stayed in the classroom with the teacher. We went off to another room, and were given "the talk" about menstruation. Throughout her presentation, she never referred to just "tampons" or "pads", it was always "Tampax tampons" and "Kotex pads". I didn't even get it until much later - I was unaware enough to believe at the time that she was talking about four separate items: tampax, tampons, kotex, and pads - and I didn't get the distinction among them. So obviously this tactic isn't a huge innovation, but either advertising wasn't as pervasive/impactful then as it is now, or maybe the topic doesn't provide a solid basis for comparison, or maybe I just lived under a rock.

Is anyone else as horrified by this state of affairs as I am? If/when I have children, is home-schooling my only option to protect my kid(s) from corporate brainwashing?


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#68388 - 05/01/02 09:06 AM Re: Corporate Curriculum
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
20 years ago, there was less of it, but it was always an issue. When the PTA did programs (say an after school functions, it was very temping to accept McDonald offer of a bevage cooler and free bug juice(sweet, vaguely fruit flavored water)... but it came in a big Yellow barrel with a banner, and "a server" and Mc Donald cups and did want goody bags? full of advertizement?

since NYC school are "open" we had about 20% of the kids in the school bussed in from other areas. most of these kids had fewer economic resourses.

all the free stuff from McDoodoos would have meant more stuff for the kids and more profits for the PTA -- and our pta was busy then buying computers. (a small, 300 student school had a computer lab with 5 computers in 1990-- many school don't have that many yet!)

one of the problems was, about half of us felt we didn't want McDooDoos stuff, because it was to full of ads, and the other half felt, Hey, the kids like McDoodoos, and its free, and the kids see commercials all the time on TV (and a good 20% of us agins, either didn't have TV's, or strictly curtailed TV watching, and limited to PBS! but those all for it, though we were just too weird!)

There is no free lunch, but schools all over US seem to think there is... corporate sponsership is not free!

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#68389 - 05/03/02 02:57 PM Re: Corporate Curriculum
Flatlander Offline
addict

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 428
Loc: Cape Cod, MA, US
Is anyone else as horrified by this state of affairs as I am? If/when I have children, is home-schooling my only option to protect my kid(s) from corporate brainwashing?

I think you make great (and in some ways frightening) points, FB, but let me play Devil's Advocate for a minute:

It is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid being barraged with advertising everywhere you turn. I just read an article about Boston signing a deal with a German company that will (in exchange for providing the city public toilets and bus kiosks) install "street furniture" (which used to mean benches and trash cans, but now seems to mean free-standing advertising signs) all over the city. Even walking down the street ad-free is impossible. Maybe we should be using the implied "ads" in our kids school lunches and textbooks as "teachable moments". Ask them "So why do you think McDonalds put its name on that cooler? Why does this company pay for your textbook?" and teach them to be *aware* of the haze of advertising that will (increasingly, no doubt) surround them. I've heard recently about the excellent job Canada seems to be doing teaching "media awareness" to kids, and I think the US should take a page out of their book.

I haven't read Fast Food Nation, and I imagine I would be pretty shocked by it (the stuff in your quote about Exxon-sponsored environmental education is particularly scary), but I do think that attempting to keep our lives free of advertising is like trying to bail out a boat with a sieve, unfortunately.


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#68390 - 05/03/02 03:29 PM Re: Corporate Curriculum
boronia Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 322
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I've heard recently about the excellent job Canada seems to be doing teaching "media awareness" to kids

I don't know how excellent a job we're doing, but here's an example: there's a hilarious ad on TV about house-hippos, done as a nature show vignette, complete with very cute graphics. At the end, the narrator reminds us viewers to question what we see on TV, since it often looks believable, even when we know it probably can't be true.


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#68391 - 05/03/02 03:34 PM Re: Corporate Curriculum
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
Yes, it is important to teach children that almost everything they read or see, is expressing a point of view. -- i tried to do it.. and so did ex, but still, when my daughter went to Japan, she came back and said "newpapers lie!" (it was 10 years ago she went, at the height of US japan bashing, with the claims that Japan was a closed market to US goods.)

of course what she found was 7/11's, selling Saran wrap, and Kelloggs corn flakes, and winston cigarettes, and ever ready batteries, and kodak film, and so on, and so on.. now there might have been some real substance to claims that japanes markets were harder for US companies to get into, and that Kodak film was much more expensive than Fiji film, but the markets in many places were not closed.

and she also noticed in a US car dealership, that none of the cars on display (a great big whopping 2!), or the US cars in the used car lot (again, not many), had been designed with the steering wheel on the rigtht.

it hard for kids to seperate out wheat from chaff.. and if they get sold a false bill of goods--its harder still.. even when you try to teach them.

again, i think we are a self selected group here.. i am smart, and pretty well read, but i recognize i don't have a first class degree.. and i know there is a difference-- and not all college degrees are the same.. and i also know, some here do have first class educations, some because of formal schooling, some because they were very dilligent in the school of hard knocks.

but, there are many (its scary just how many!) college graduates who know nothing! -- or have only the vaguest idea about things, and think, because they read one book, or took one 1 credit course --they know something! I hang out here, because, i know my vast sum of knowledge-- mile wide it might be, is a mere mircon think in most places.. and there are many here with knowledge that is miles deep! i am just smart enough, and educated enough to know, i know almost nothing!

and to expect that this vast majority of people can distingish between quality and trash.. it expecting more than you have a right to!

the world has changed rapidly, the vast sum of information that is needed today is so much greater than ever before, and kids are being raised by parents who don't know what to look for, what to expect, what is needed.. they are clue-less.

what is the solution? time.. a hundred and fifty years ago, poor peasants got thrown off the farms, and thrust into the city... and their great grandchildern are still playing catch up.



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#68392 - 05/03/02 05:09 PM Re: Corporate Curriculum
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
>teaching kids to decode advertising

It seems to be pretty well covered here in the UK. My eleven year old has just finished a project on advertising and sits through TV adverts discussing what they are selling and the various messages. I think that children are far more media aware than my generation ever was (and we are a lot more aware than our parents).

It is the advertising pumped into school as facts that is insidious, the latest thing are the websites that offer homework help. Here's an example of a website touting for adverts: http://www.jiskha.com/contact_jhh/advertise.html – you can apply for a Visa Card whilst learning about Anna Karenina. Children have always written to companies for information about products and manufacturing methods - I remember getting information about sugar production (talking of a product that is steeped in restrictive practices) when I was at school and the corporate website is the perfect way of providing free information. I think that there is some regulation here of what can be included but hard-pressed schools do find it hard to turn down practical support. Most of the schools that I have come across offer a pretty good balance to any of these influences. They are very strong on fashionable areas of ecology (the rain forest seems to be the most often repeated subject on the curriculum here) and issues of exploitation are also covered pretty well in subjects like geography under the headings of the "haves and the have nots".

I've heard a fair bit of discussion about bringing products and money-off vouchers into schools and it certainly happens, although I can't think of a school that I have ever come across letting McDonalds through the door with anything. I think I've seen things with Pizza Hut on them. Coca Cola http://www.rif.org/partnership.html are involved with a reading programme http://www.rif.org/partnership.html, although I've not come across it here. Here’s another view of that sponsorship http://www.saveharry.com/.

There is a double-edged sword. We encourage companies to take their responsibility to the community seriously with Business in the Community, corporate giving and sponsorship schemes then complain about it and throw it back in their face when the offerings are less than squeaky clean. It is said that there is very little totally “clean” money. I have certainly come across the view, in the fundraising world that many of the great trust and foundations build on fortunes that were made in the past were made on the back of cheap labour.

So, whilst I would prefer that advertising was not wrapped up in teaching materials, I think that we should make children aware if the real world that they live in and arm them to deal with the bombardment of advertising that they will certainly face.



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#68393 - 05/03/02 07:06 PM Re: Corporate Curriculum
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
Now just a minute here. I happen to have gone to school through a good portion of these "insidious" advertizements and I can assure you that Coke machines and ads in football stadiums have very little, in any, effect on students. Sure, soft drinks aren't the most healthy of choices, but considering that most students drink it anyway, it's not doing any more harm. The only disruption caused by a student going to a Coke machine between classes and bringing the drink into class is an up-tight teacher complaining that it's against the rules and making the student get up and throw it away. Otherwise, there's no problem. If anything, it might make an unmotivated student more alert during a boring lecture.

Billboards in stadiums are generally ignored. There's aimed at the spectators, not the players, and the fans are usually more focused on the game than the advertizements lining the sidelines.

I also watched Channel One through middle school and in social studies classes in high school. Yes, the ads are a little annoying, but they're no different than normal commercials and they're never harmful products. If I remember right, most of them were either skin care products or anti-smoking ads. And Channel One provides free TVs in every classroom to schools who use the program. Aside from the show often being the only current events most students get, the TVs were also, at least in my experience, used quite frequently for videos related to the class.

Certainly I don't think that products should be shoved directly in a person's face, but most ads are just background noise anymore. When someone talks about the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl or Qualcomm Stadium, it doesn't make someone want to rush out and buy some Tostitos corn chips or a Qualcomm cell phone.


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#68394 - 05/04/02 10:26 AM Re: Corporate Curriculum
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
RE; but most ads are just background noise anymore. When someone talks about the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl or Qualcomm Stadium, it doesn't make someone want to rush out and buy some Tostitos corn chips or a Qualcomm cell phone.


Do you really think that companies would spend thousand and thousands of dollars on something they don't think is effective?

focus group studies show, advertizing is very effective! kids might not run out and buy tostistos corn chips that very minute, but they will be more likely to buy corn chips than an apple, and even more likely to buy Tostitos. the name tostitos gets associated with something fun, and wholesome!

We've been doing the thread on kids songs over in Misc. Bel points out her nieces don't know these songs.. but all of us over -- well lets say a certain age -- do. why?

because in my childhood, we had to entertain ourselves.. we didn't have radios, or walkman's or tapes, or even to much tv.. we kids sang songs, and some of the songs, as i point out are childe ballads.. songs that came down from the 1600 in england to the bronx in the 1950's.. changed, but still very recognizable.. and they are now gone!

they have been replaced by boy bands, and scoobie doo cartoons, and junk!

my catholic schools had an agenda (and in our history classes, Queen Mary, (Henry VIII's daughter) was good Queen Mary- most other histories refer to her as "Bloody Mary"-- like wise, the spanish inquisition was present to us as a good thing.. bet there is not a lot of agreement with that view of history..

and yes, i grew up, read, and got over it.. but today, kids are constantly bombarded with information.. if they can't trust the information they recieve in text books? what can they trust? how do they learn to make an informed opinion, when all of their sources a biased?

advertizement has become so pervasive, and so incidious, i don't think you realize how much it has shaped your live. and maybe, because you are smart, and lucky enough to have educated parents, and other resources, you are less suseptitable to the influence. but is it a good idea for our society to have our history writen by coke cola? or socialogy taught by standard oil?

huge amount of money are spent on hooking a young kid.. to get them to spend money (or convince their parents to spend money) on McDooDoos, or harry potter, or jurasic park or pokiemans, or what ever the craze of the week is. and it works!

i use the same loose leaf binder for 4 years in HS-- now kids have to have the newest, trendiest, theme one.. every year a new one..

so much has changed.. and its not all bad. but alot of it aint good!

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#68395 - 05/08/02 07:28 AM Re: Corporate Curriculum
Flatlander Offline
addict

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 428
Loc: Cape Cod, MA, US
We encourage companies to take their responsibility to the community seriously with Business in the Community, corporate giving and sponsorship schemes then complain about it and throw it back in their face when the offerings are less than squeaky clean.

That's a great point, jmh. In my field (historic preservation), funding is always at a premium, but corporate sponsorship is generally treated like nuclear waste. One of the greatest debates I've had with other professionals is to ask them, "If Home Depot (A mega-hardware chain, a la Walmart) wanted to give you $1M a year to run a non-profit preservation advocacy group, with no control over what you did, would you take the money?" Most people I've asked wouldn't (and neither would I, but it is tempting).


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#68396 - 05/08/02 10:14 AM Re: Corporate Curriculum
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
give you $1M a year to run a non-profit preservation advocacy group, with no control over what you did (EA)

Are you saying that you would have no control over what you did with the money or that HD would have no control over it? If the former, what would be the point of taking the money, but if the latter what would be the problem?


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#68397 - 05/08/02 11:22 AM Re: Corporate Curriculum
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
the problem is.. its often a come on.. you start a program, and in the fine print, (or even big print) acknowledge Home Depot.. and then next year (or three years down the line..) when you funding is running low.. where do you get the next million? and does the next million come with out strings?

its like dope-- first its just one joint, and then an ounce, and soon you are a regular..

sometimes the strings aren't too bad.. but they are still strings. Lila Atchison (of the Atchison Topeka SantaFe railroad-- married to DeWitt Wallace-- reader digest founder) gives a pot of money to the Met (Metropolitan Art Mus.) but a chunk of it must be spent on fresh flowers for the lobby.. and there are several big signs pointing out that the flowers are courtsy of a grant from the Atchison foundation... are fresh flower art? are the placques art? are they worth it? the Met says yes.. but...

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#68398 - 05/08/02 12:33 PM Re: Corporate Curriculum
Flatlander Offline
addict

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 428
Loc: Cape Cod, MA, US
Are you saying that you would have no control over what you did with the money or that HD would have no control over it?

Oops. I meant to suggest that HD would not have any say in what you did with the money. Maybe just to say "brought to you by Home Depot" on your publications and stuff.

but if the latter what would be the problem?

Well, that's the crux of the debate. What about credibility? What about the mere knowledge that the company funding you is working contrary to your goals everyday? To make it a more black-and-white example, what if some multi-national fishing company wanted to give money to Greenpeace (and Greenpeace REALLY needed the money)? Does the money become tainted just because the donor might be using it to improve (or flat out be deceptive about) their corporate image? I sure don't know the answers to these questions, but.


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#68399 - 05/09/02 06:19 AM Re: Corporate Curriculum
bikermom Offline
journeyman

Registered: 01/12/01
Posts: 96
Loc: Ohio, USA
Hi Everyone,
I have been reading the Ad stuff in the schools and corporate sponsor posts. As a parent, school volunteer, school employee and tutor, these issues are a concern but---
And I have also read the book "Fast Food Nation". We are also a 4th year host family for exchange students.
All the answers to your questions and issues are in the new book "The Trouble With Perfect" by Elisabeth Guthrie, MD. I think it is a super handbook for new parents, parents of schol kids, (the gifted, the average, and the special needs etc), also a great resource book for teachers and school administrators.
I think that this book "hits the nail on the head", "gets right down to the root of the nation's prob with kids and schools" and does it without blaming anyone or offending anyone.
I challenge everyone on this forum to read it and then send in your posts.


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#68400 - 05/09/02 08:01 AM Re: Corporate Curriculum
TheFallibleFiend Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 1523
Loc: Virginia, USA

Reminds me of a saying of engineers: The perfect is the enemy of the good.

k




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#68401 - 05/09/02 08:32 AM Re: Corporate Curriculum
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
The perfect is the enemy of the good.

Or "if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly".


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#68402 - 05/09/02 08:53 AM Re: Corporate Curriculum
TheFallibleFiend Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 1523
Loc: Virginia, USA

Not at all.

The point of the other statement was that perfection is not to be had on this earth and you can waste a lot of effort striving for the unobtainable when their are very reasonable alternatives.

k



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#68403 - 05/09/02 09:01 AM Re: Corporate Curriculum
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
And one interpretation of the other expression is that much of the time we put things off because we can only do them well. So it is best to have a go and do it badly than never try.

Artists talk a lot about the "right to fail" - sometimes it is only some time after you have produced something that you know if it has been a success or not. Every year, much to the recipient's surprise, award ceremonies such as the Oscars bring to our attention people who have become an "overnight success". I remember several older (and a few younger) actors who were amused by this label.


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#68404 - 05/09/02 09:26 AM Re: Corporate Curriculum
TheFallibleFiend Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 1523
Loc: Virginia, USA

That interpration never occurred to me. I always thought it
was intended as sarcasm. Now I know better.

I don't know a lot of artistic people; however, I think the
saying would benefit unartistic people, as well. Many put
off doing things because of their fear of certain failure.


k




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#68405 - 05/09/02 12:06 PM Re: Corporate Curriculum
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
The perfect is the enemy of the good

Or, as Samuel Goldwynn is reputed to have said, "I don't want it perfect; I want it Tuesday!"


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#68406 - 05/16/02 10:15 AM Post deleted by SilkMuse
SilkMuse Offline
member

Registered: 04/25/02
Posts: 170

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#68407 - 05/16/02 04:25 PM Post deleted by ewein
ewein Offline
member

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 184
Loc: USA

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#68408 - 05/16/02 05:11 PM Re: Corporate Curriculum
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
Re:The students are not taught that cokes are more nutrititious than milk.

but for young minds, isn't almost as bad to teach them that coke is more desirable than milk? or french fries are more desireable than baked potatoes?

Mc DooDoo's advertizes that it food is part of a healthy diet, and it could be, if you had big mac's once a month, but once a week, (or once a day?) unhealthy.

but before they can learn such fine points, they are bombarded with ads-- and when the ad become part of the school, its harder for kids not to believe all the information in the ads isn't true.

In NY McDooDoo's has school nights a two hour early evening school fundraiser, where money is donated to school based on sales for the two hours, and kids are encouraged to eat at McDooDoo's, and to get family and friends eat there at the specific day and time, all to benifit the school.. i suspect McDooDoo's benefits more.

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#68409 - 05/16/02 06:08 PM Aside
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
>How many 5 year olds ask for a "tissue"? How many more ask for a Kleenex?

As an aside to the main point here - no, not in the UK, we hoover rather than vacuum but (I hesitate to use this word as someone is bound to have a different view) never call a tissue a Kleenex - although we do buy Kleenex tissues.


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#68410 - 05/17/02 06:27 AM Re: Aside
bikermom Offline
journeyman

Registered: 01/12/01
Posts: 96
Loc: Ohio, USA
>>>So, whilst I would prefer that advertising was not wrapped up in teaching materials, I think that we should make children aware if the real world that they live in and arm them to deal with the bombardment of advertising that they will certainly face. <<<<
Well said---Anyone can conceive a child and change the diapers--but to raise a wholesome, well-rounded kid is the parents main priority not the school, the corporate business, the community, or the church. While we need these to complete the circle, the family is the nucleus, and the parents are the root. Too many parents are sheltering their children from the real world or taking an apathetic stand and leaving it all up to someone else--while they just keep on making babies and having fun. Once again, what is wrong with the words, well-rounded, basic, middle of the road, and average. It has become too popular to be a superstar or an At-risk, ritalin, disabled (spec ed, LD or Behavior) labeled student. What is so wrong with just being a kid and a we want our kids to say NO to drugs, alcohol, porn, sex, candy, fast food, designer labels, but we are unwilling to say NO ourselves.
Again I say Silkmuse is correct, and jmh, of troy and Jazz are very wise.
And again along with reading "Fast Food Nation" please read "The Trouble with Perfect" by Elisabeth Guthrie, MD
about the many probs with overacheivment and pushing a kid, how to quit this, but still remain in control and enjoy being a parent and still raise a successful well-bred child. And the child benefits too, by again resumming his role of being a kid, not a little adult. Then he will be a superstar adult and contributing member of society. And Mc Ducks should be a special earned treat, not and every day breakfast, lunch and dinner. And don't blame the companies, because it is their job to make money so they can pay saleries, and yes, silkmuse--the poor schools apply to these companies, because the governments and the taxpayers are unwilling to fund and value education--don't they recognize that these kids are the future leaders of the world?


enthusiast
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#68411 - 05/17/02 10:21 AM Re: Corporate Curriculum
Bean Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 1156
How many 5 year olds ask for a "tissue"? How many more ask for a Kleenex?

Like the Hoover/vacuum thing, the tissue/kleenex thing has become part of the language. I always call them kleenexes, but I don't think we ever had brand-name kleenex in our house. (They dissolve too easily.) Depending on the word, the brand name connection can eventually be lost, and then the word just means any of a group of similar products.

And I KNOW there's a word for this. We've done it on AWAD (the mailing list), too. Help!


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#68412 - 05/17/02 10:47 AM Post deleted by ewein
ewein Offline
member

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 184
Loc: USA

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#68413 - 05/17/02 10:56 AM Re: Corporate Curriculum
Fiberbabe Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/12/01
Posts: 771
Loc: Portland, Oregon
"Today I'm discussing a phenomenon called genericide whereby a trademark becomes so popular that it is used as a generic for the entire product category, not just as a specific brand name." - TG&P Anu, 9/25/2000

Yeah, Bean - I don't see that as a part of this curriculum phenomenon either, FWIW.


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#68414 - 05/17/02 11:00 AM Re: Corporate Curriculum
AphonicRants Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 200
And I KNOW there's a word for this.

My father was a patent/trademark lawyer, so I grew up with this and can confirm. The legal term of art used, when the legal protection of a trademark or tradename is thus lost, is that the word in question has become "generic".

Edit: That's currently a hot issue for Xerox­® and Scotch Tape®.

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#68415 - 05/17/02 01:54 PM Re: Corporate Curriculum
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
Re: I also call them kleenex, but only buy Puffs. I call it Jello--but buy other brands. Interesting

interesting.. see, one of the things about me and words that okay isn't it? if i were taking about a person it would be ewein and i, not me and ewein, but about things, i can say me and words, right?
is, i almost never use generic words for things-- consciously so.

i also tended not to use baby words with my kids (no boo-boos, and ba-bas, but cuts & abraisions, and cups or bottles)

i do, for effect, frequently use ain't, knowing full well its is non standard english. and i do sometimes say gunna (not going to) an i dunno, (instead of I don't know) but i do try not to let such things become a habit. we sometimes had chocolate chip cookies, but rarely toll house (nestles brand!) cookies.. we had cakes from a mix, not a betty crocker cake.. and we used shortning, (store brand, not crisco)

it was part of my thought process about words.. even before i had kids. So, corporate sponsership, and learning to equate orange juice with Minute Maid, and then the MM vending machine sells soda too, and lets get a coke.. to me its a slippery slope (thin end of the wedge, i think for our UK friends)

stay here a while, and i think you'll find about 50% of us have these personally type standards, and that we made an effort to have them. we have consciously fought the influences of our society, (while still remaining active memebers.) i happen to have tissues on my desk, and, by the way they are klennex! but i don't have any kleenex!

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#68416 - 05/17/02 02:30 PM Re: Kleenex
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Well, I certainly don't call them Kleenex. I call them Grennices. It's a long story. If you're lucky I won't tell it.


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#68417 - 05/17/02 03:54 PM Post deleted by SilkMuse
SilkMuse Offline
member

Registered: 04/25/02
Posts: 170

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#68418 - 05/17/02 06:11 PM Re: Corporate Curriculum
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Another poll?

Kleenex, yes; Jell-o, yes; pop/soda, no--soft drink, yes.

And, slightly off-topic, I catch myself all the time referring to the stereo as the record player and CDs as records. Old habits die hard.

Billboards annoy me, every last one of 'em. They make me feel contrary to using the products displayed.

Best forms of advertising: Humor, but not too idiotic, and packaging (I must admit) will pull in the customer. However, I get a bit annoyed when it's obvious a great deal of money has been poured into pretty useless, extravagant packaging.

Best way to get a loyal customer: Have a great product that you can count on for consistently predictable quality in whatever price range the customer in question can afford.

An aside: I was shopping in the children's section of a department store last week to find some bows for a costume to be used in an upcoming school play. There on the check-out counter in the children's department was a display of Godiva chocolates. I thought, "Good grief. Here they are trying to implant the image of expensive chocolates in the brains of small children. Whatever happened to M&M's--and how did Godiva pull off this ploy?"


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#68419 - 05/17/02 10:44 PM Re: Corporate Curriculum
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
Godiva chocolates? Never heard them. Are you sure it's not a ploy to get the kids interested in naked women?

Bingley
_________________________
Bingley

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#68420 - 05/18/02 05:08 PM Re: Product placement
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
Naked women?

In Coventry, certainly.

I hadn't realised that she was famous throughout Europe - an early bit of Eurotrash? They certainly claim her influence on Belgium on their website.
http://www.godiva.com/about/faq.asp

The chocolates are pretty good, you'll have to pick some up next time you visit, Bing. I would think that the chocolate would melt too quickly where you are.

I suspect that the "product placement" was something to do with Mother's Day, either that or someone wants to encourage children to ride horses in an unusual way.


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#68421 - 05/19/02 08:32 AM Re: Product placement
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
Godiva-- not what it used to be... did you see the last sentence?
Since Godiva Chocolatier, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary, we do not publish a separate financial statement, and do not discuss total sales, advertising costs or financial performance.

for the past 20 years they have been owned by an american corporations.. i don't remember parent company name, but they also own Pepperidge Farms (bread/cookies/baked goods) and Campbell's soup.. since being bought by an american company, the placement in stores has increased dramatically, to a point the chocolate was losing is cashe. in the past 5 years they have become more exclusive.

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#68422 - 05/19/02 08:55 AM Re: Campbell
AphonicRants Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 200
Here's the info of who owns what, with a link to the chocolate:

http://www.campbellsoup.com/FinancialCenter/FinancialReports/2000AnnualReport/page3.html

Edit: Would it be permissible to give the link to other parts of the same site, devoted to recipes?

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#68423 - 05/19/02 09:11 AM Re: Campbell
Angel Offline
addict

Registered: 12/28/01
Posts: 688
Would it be permissible to give the link to other parts of the same site, devoted to recipes?

A link to recipes? Sounds good to me!


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#68424 - 05/19/02 01:05 PM Re: Campbell's -- as the lady request
AphonicRants Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 200
As the lady requests. The recipe board for Campbell's:
http://www.campbellkitchen.com/default.cfm


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#68425 - 05/20/02 08:52 AM Re: Campbell
TheFallibleFiend Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 1523
Loc: Virginia, USA


Thanks, that's pretty cool.

I was a little amused by the explanation for Campbell's failure (they still made money apparently, but their "sales declined").


Consumers did not reach for our brands with the same love and loyalty as before. "Why?" we asked.

and

We failed to prove our product relevance with consumers in a dynamic marketplace.


Such lovely verbiage and not a word about their products being overpriced.
I *love* Pepperidge Farms Cheasapeakes. My favorite cookie next to my own. But it usually costs $4 in my local Giant food store, or 50 cents a cookie. At half off (which is the most I'll pay for them), it's $2 (25 cents a cookie). At the BJ's, I think it's 1.79.


The only reason I would buy these cookies (delicious as they are) is to save myself the time of making my own (I can make cookies just as good but it does a few hours). At 25 to 50 cents a cookie, I think I can wait till I have time to make my own.


k



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#68426 - 05/29/02 09:05 AM Re: Aside
TheFallibleFiend Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 1523
Loc: Virginia, USA

This weekend my kids asked me to make beefaroni for them, homemade of course since they've never had it out of a can.

It only occured to me a few moments ago that this was an example of what you're talking about.


k



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#68427 - 05/29/02 07:23 PM Re: Aside
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891
What is beefaroni?


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#68428 - 05/30/02 07:14 AM Re: Aside
Bean Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 1156
Well, the canned stuff must be macaroni & cheese combined with beef. Y'know, Chef Boyardee? I've never tried it, myself. (My real Italian father would shudder at the thought of it!) I imagine the homemade stuff would be quite a step up!


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#68429 - 05/30/02 07:30 AM Re: Aside
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
... or else it's one of those things like "Hamburger Helper" that come in a box; just add water... oh, and beef. Guess we'll have to wait for ff to weigh in on this one.


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#68430 - 05/30/02 08:39 AM Re: Aside
TheFallibleFiend Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/23/02
Posts: 1523
Loc: Virginia, USA
Beef-a-roni came from Chef Boy-R-Dee. I loved it when I was a kid, but I think it would make me ill if I were to eat it today. It's like a macaroni goulash kinda thing. I don't remember there being any cheese in it. If I recall, the elbow macaronis were not hollow.


k



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#68431 - 05/30/02 10:24 AM Re: Aside
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
curiously, there was a real Chef Boyardee.. and he actually was a good cook -- (not to say the canned stuff is any good..
But Chef Boyardee was indeed a real person, born Hector Boiardi in northern Italy in 1898... more at
http://www.snopes2.com/business/names/boyardee.htm

the plain canned sause (not macaroni and sause in a can) used to be pretty good, (it was a very mild, bland sause) i remember having it as a kid (till teen years) but the canned macaroni and sause was crummy even when i was a kid--the sause was too sweet, and had an "off flavor".

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#68432 - 05/30/02 03:28 PM Re: Aside
Angel Offline
addict

Registered: 12/28/01
Posts: 688
Oh, yes...Beefaroni! That wonderful concoction made by Chef Boy-ar-dee. My daughter still loves it. Inch long tube shaped pasta with no whole in it, meat suspected beef and, ummm...delicious gag-me-with-a-spoon seasoned tomato sauce. Scrumptious! [holding-my-nose-e]


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#68433 - 05/30/02 04:09 PM Re: Aside
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891
suspected beef

My dad worked for a meat packing company. The suspected beef is definitely a beef product but nothing you'd usually eat or want to eat. I won't get into it here because it is not appetizing at all.

Just realize that when the ad says 100% pure beef that the nose of beef is still beef.


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#68434 - 05/31/02 11:25 PM Re: Aside
Fiberbabe Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/12/01
Posts: 771
Loc: Portland, Oregon
The suspected beef is definitely a beef product...

Which brings us back full circle to Fast Food Nation. Someone must really PM me and tell me you've read it!


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#68435 - 06/02/02 07:47 AM Re: Aside
jimthedog Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 02/24/01
Posts: 387
Loc: Hartsville, New York.
I don't see how anyone could eat that stuff unless they were being forced to or something. The only good macaroni-type dinner is made by my mom, who got it from her mom. The recipe probably came from some italian guy stuck in the Baltics in 1450 or so.


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