Never, ever doubt that corporations are always on the lookout for creative ways to market to your child in any venue they can – especially if they can do it when you are not there.
My kids have become alert reporters of inappropriate marketing to children. I received this text message from 16-year-old RL in driver’s ed class:
“Valvolines giving a presentation on preventative maintenance… we aall got free oil change coupons…”
|Note the stoplight sketch. “Slow down if light is yellow”!|
I paid for this state-required course, in order to give Valvoline an opportunity to market their services and products to my son. That’s Valvoline, a subsidiary of Ashland, Inc., a company with a market capitalization of $5.9 billion.
You can almost see the marketing team sitting around the conference table: “How can we, too, get us a piece of that lucrative teen market? Where can we find a captive audience of youth without parents present?” The big idea: Provide free service to the driver’s ed school in exchange for access to kids.