Monday, March 5, 2012

Test drive an SUV to school day

The National Education Association and Mazda have teamed up to convince kids they should tell their parents to test drive a Mazda to raise money for public libraries. As part of this ad campaign Mazda reps are allowed to give a sales pitch to groups of kids. According to the Post article about an event in Alexandria, The Lorax helps market Mazda SUVs to elementary school children nationwide:
“I track school advertising for a living,” said Josh Golin, associate director of the Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. “This is among the most outrageous examples of any school advertisement program I’ve ever heard of.”
At Polk Elementary on Tuesday, more than 100 kindergartners and fourth- and fifth-graders crowded into the multipurpose room for a rendition of Seuss’s classic environmentalist tale.

The kids listened as the little furry Lorax tried, furiously and fruitlessly, to defend his beloved Truffula Trees and Brown Bar-ba-loots from being destroyed by the Once-ler, that greedy Thneed magnate.

Afterward, a Mazda representative — Dan Ryan of the government relations office — stood up.
He unveiled an oversized $1,000 check meant to help beef up the school’s library collection. “We think reading is very important,” Ryan said. The audience cheered.
Ryan then told the kids they could help raise up to a million dollars for other schools’ libraries — and qualify for a sweepstakes entry (trip for four to Universal Studios).
All they had to do was persuade their parents to go to the nearest Mazda dealership for a test-drive.
For every person who test-drives a car — and brings in a special certificate, which students received at school Tuesday — Mazda will donate $25 to the NEA’s foundation for public schools.
Ryan told his rapt audience that Mazda’s latest models get great gas mileage — at 35 miles to the gallon, the CX-5 is the most efficient SUV on American highways, he said.
One of the more dangerous places for kids to bike is around school entrances due to the number of parents driving kids to school, kids who have a seat on a bus or who live close enough to bike or walk. Let's hope Fairfax doesn't allow Mazda to pitch SUVs to our kids.

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