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The Toronto Star reports that McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd. is considering selling advertising in college textbooks, the better to target free-spending college students. The company claims the ads are intended to bring "beneficial corporate and social awareness campaigns to the students." Gadfly sees infinite potential in this innovation. A Big Mac next to Marx's Communist Manifesto could inform students of the ills of capitalism - think of the irony! These ads, however, come as no surprise from a greedy, heedless industry that scores big profits by producing watered-down material (see The Mad, Mad World of Textbook Adoption). "Reach a hard to get target group where they spend all their parents' money," a sales brochure from McGraw proclaims. "Do you really think 18-24 year olds see those on-campus magazine ads? Do you really think they could miss an ad that is placed in a very well-respected textbook?" This assumes, of course, that any students still read this stuff, and there's no real proof of that.
"Publisher pushes textbooks ads," by Rick Westhead, Toronto Star, June 7, 2005