NYC School Ad Campaign Doesn’t Ring True

by NYC Firm Schools on July 16, 2009

The status of the Educational System in NYC, the quality of the schools and staff as well as the subject of where the control of NYC schools should lay with have all been hot topics. In a city where not everything is as it seems, most people still take offense when a duck and feint trick involves anything to do with NYC students.

In a Village Voice blog from Rand Smith, a post takes aim at Mayor Bloomberg’s use of Public School Student Stand-Ins instead of actual Public School Students for an ad campaign.

First, the Bloomberg mayoral campaign produced a tough-on-crime ad featuring a “27th” NYPD Precinct that only exists on television.
Now, O’Dwyer’s reporter Kevin McCauley has accused the campaign of using fake public school kids in a brochure that lauds Bloomberg’s record with city schools.

To be technical, there’s no such thing as a fake public school kid, but the basis is true. Two of the featured students in the Mayor’s ad brochure, intended to portray public school students in a public school, were actually private school students in a private school.

“The centerpiece of the brochure showed Bloomberg chatting with two young girls standing in a school hallway. Lo and behold, there stood my daughter’s classmates shooting the breeze with Mayor Mike, standing in the hall of their school, Xaverian, a private Catholic high school in Brooklyn.”

McCauley writes he found out the girls were recruited by the Genesis middle school program at Xaverian to do a photo-shoot and television spot with Bloomberg, and that they were asked to bring a change of clothes as their Catholic school uniforms would be a dead give away they weren’t from a PS.

The writer also says the girls weren’t told they would be stand-ins for public-schoolers

Bloomberg Brochure

The city spoke out and referenced the fact that they are simply not allowed to use a public school for any add campaign, and so it is standard procedure to use a private school for photo shoots.

The rules are the rules and it’s a logical resolution to a problem, however, the Mayor and his staff would have been better served if they had chosen Public School students with high achievement records to be rewarded with a photo shoot and ad campaign promotion. For many parents in New York, the brochure brought a little too much Hollywood Magic to a very real educational system.

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