BT has been criticised by the National Consumer Council over its latest scheme for targeting teenagers, which gives sixth-formers BT-branded ring binders.
BT plans to advertise its “EasyReach” pagers on folders supplied free to pupils in sixth forms and colleges with the permission of their headteacher.
But a spokeswoman for the National Consumer Council says schools should be “advertising-free zones”. She adds: “In our view schools should be places for learning and not marketing. It is very important the promotional message does not outweigh the educational one, and in this case it is not clear if there is any educational value at all.”
The binders, called “JazzyFiles”, will be supplied by Lasting Impressions, a company which already runs a scheme called JazzyBooks where advertisers sponsor school exercise books. Advertisers for the books include Weetabix, The Royal Mail and the Government’s Hedgehog Road Safety Campaign.
The files will be tested in 175 sixth-form colleges in January and roll out is expected later in the year.