Is a corporate-sponsored marketing course an academic service, or a self-serving one? asks Rob Walker in his well-written New York Times Sunday Magazine piece that profiles a controversy ignited by of all groups, a non-profit trade association that sponsored an academic course at New York’s Hunter College and several other universities across the country..
If you don’t get the Sunday NY Times Magazine–here’s the upshot..I.A.C.C., the IntL. Anti-counterfeiting Coalition, whose members include leading brand manufacturers, underwrote a course at Hunter (and 7 other campuses) that was intended to enlist the resources (and peer relationships) of those participating in the class, to instill the doctrine of Knocking Off is Bad.
The course work, which includes teams of students creating an assortment of very innovative digital and print ads, and compelling experiential marketing campaigns that are now being leveraged by I.A.C.C., has evoked post traumatic stress with some academics, specifically those that believe a line in the sand needs to be drawn prohibiting corporates, trade groups, non-profits, and anyone else that has an agenda from imposing their mantras when sponsoring educational curriculum.
Yes, some are all-consumed by the notion Big Brand Brother is getting his hooks into the crannies of our young, and oh-so-easily influenced college students and exploiting their intellect.
For those that agree that corporate sponsorship of colleges should have strict black and white rules and 14 ft Chinese walls that separate church from state and college students from their prospective corporate hiring managers, you’re invited to submit a comment and share your thoughts!