There are some things we know: schools are underfunded. Big companies know this too so they devise ways to make themselves look good by creating competitions for schools to enter so their brand can be exhibited in schools all over the country. Whether that’s collecting tokens or vouchers or designing logos or colouring in pictures or whatever, there is something more than a bit crass about product placement on young children.
The problem is that schools are so starved of funding that they tend to support these commercial ventures and the vicious circle continues to cycle.
I would suggest that big companies would be banned from this practice. I would have some exceptions. I think there is probably very little harm in a small, local business running some sort of promotion competition in a school, as long as it wasn’t a waste of time and done simply to get their product name into as many schoolbags as possible. There would have to be some sort of mutual benefit to the school. For example, to compensate the school for effectively advertising their business, the business should give some sort of financial support to the school or some sort of service in lieu of it. For example, a local technician might give a school some free technical support if they agreed to promote him.
However, even the above doesn’t sit well with me. In more salubrious areas, companies might be able to afford much better services than a much less advantaged area. Obviously, also urban areas will have more opportunities than rural areas. Perhaps some sort of cap would be necessary.
However, what would really be beneficial would be schools being funded properly so they don’t have to rely on commercial entities’ supposed donations.