Wall Street Journal Article – Channel One Taps Principals As Promoters

September 15, 1997
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Obligation contributed information
for a superb article in the Wall Street Journal today. It centered
on one small part of the Channel One Problem: using principals
as lackeys for Channel One advertisers. Principals have handed
out Arizona jeans discount coupons and kept petitions for students
to sign for a Reebok promotion. Snapple, Pepsi, and Subway were
other companies that had promotions in "Channel One Schools."


Some of the more damaging statements
in this article were not from opponents of Channel One, but from
David Tanzer, Channel One president and Martin Grant, Sales Manager.


Educators, who are trying to
defend Channel One to upset and confused parents, can take no
comfort in hearing Mr. Grant say, "We have no audience erosion."
He was contrasting his captive audience of children to the broadcast
networks’ shrinking market of young viewers.


Or Mr. Tanzer bragging about
how business was booming. "We’re at a virtual (advertising)
sellout for the fall semester."


"Advertisers can really
hit a home run by involving our audience," says Mr. Grant.


The article ends with this: "Channel
One officials say that students and teachers benefit from such
promotional campaigns as well. ‘Teachers are so desperate to
make the lesson relevant that if they can get them interested
through a Reebok campaign, they’ll do it,’ Mr. Tanzer says."


Maybe not, Mr. Tanzer. Your statement
underestimates and demeans America’s teachers. You also show
the mind set of this controversial company. Desperate? Hurting?
No money for television equipment? Give us your students and
we’ll loan you what you need. This article shows the true Channel
One. Dead-serious marketers that can guarantee advertisers something
no network can – a captive audience – "with no erosion."


[Check this article out on page
B1 Monday, September 15, 1997 Wall Street Journal. Written by
William Bulkeley]