April 20th, 2014

'Just Do It'? Brand names within NY standardized tests raise suspicions of product placement

By KAREN MATTHEWS (AP)
Newser

Brand names in NY standardized tests vex parents

"Just Do It” has been a familiar Nike slogan for years, but some parents are wondering what it was doing on some of New York’s Common Core standardized English tests. Brands including Barbie, iPod, Mug Root Beer and Life Savers showed up on the tests more than a million students in grades 3 through 8 took this month, leading to speculation it was some form of product placement advertising.

New York state education officials and the test publisher say the brand references were not paid product placement but just happened to be contained in previously published passages selected for the tests. Some critics aren’t so sure and questioned why specific brand names would be mentioned at all. “It just seems so unnecessary,” said Josh Golin, associate director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which monitors marketing directed at children.

Read more: http://www.newser.com/article/f398f33c4838456e8064670b1c74add1/just-do-it-brand-names-within-ny-standardized-tests-raise-suspicions-of-product-placement.html

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