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Published on September 21st, 2011 | by Julia

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Brainwashing or Community Relations?

Australian retail giant COLES has been offering primary school students big prizes for singing their “Prices are Down!” advertising jingle to promote their Sports for Schools program – a 7 million dollar equipment giveaway.

Here’s how Sports for Schools works: shopping at COLES earns vouchers for your school. The vouchers can then be swapped for sports equipment. Singing the jingle also earns you big vouchers.

Participating schools are getting banners and PR advice to spread the word.

But COLES is getting accused of brainwashing kids for their cause.  Does singing their jingle make kids believe the ads more?  Remember these kids are in grades 1 to 3.

COLES says it isn’t brainwashing, but “community relations.”

Sure, it’s great to earn sports equipment for your school… but isn’t this a bit like – erm – bribery?

What would you do? Would you shop at COLES and sing abut COLES to earn new stuff for your school?

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