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Commercial sponsorship of Scout Association by B&Q - does it bother you?

(37 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 14-Jun-11 14:16:28

It seems that B&Q are sponsoring a new DIY badge for the Scout Association which comes on top of Rolls Royce sponsoring science and Serco sponsoring an environment badge.

What do you think - should corporates be allowed to advertise on kids stuff like this? Is it harmless and a good way of getting business to pay for things or more sinister?

(NB Telegraph asking what I think - thought I'd ask you!)

themildmanneredjanitor Tue 14-Jun-11 14:17:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

midnightexpress Tue 14-Jun-11 14:29:21

I don't like it. We deliberately don't allow our DC to watch tv with ads in, because I object to advertising aimed at children in principle. But I don't suppose the scouts will be getting much money from anywhere else atm, so not sure what other solution there is.

When I was a gal (loooong time ago), though, we didn't really need huge amounts of money for Brownies/Guides/Scouts. We had a toadstool made out of papier mache and an old washing-up bottle, played lots of games involving running around and the odd beanbag, and in the summer we went camping for a week in three battered old tents and cooked over an open fire. So, I don't imagine that B&Q really needed to be involved then.

HattiFattner Tue 14-Jun-11 14:42:20

the grassroots scouting troops wont see anything from this. It will go to HQ to pay for important stuff - like child protection officers, training for adult leaders.

but then we are damned if we do and damned if we don't.

Grassroots scouting still offers amazing value for money. If we didnt have sponsorship deals, the cost of scouting would have to be passed on to the parents.

ChippyMinton Tue 14-Jun-11 14:53:24

It's not new. I must admit to being a little surprised when I first stitched on badges sponsored by Jetix, Hot Wheels and others but I don't think the DC notice or care. Plenty of other awards are sponsored, such as swimming.

I'd prefer B&Q, Rolls Royce and similar that are recognisable practical brands rather than those trying to utilise 'pester power' - sugary cereals, cartoons, toys. But at the end of the day, if it keeps Scouting accessible, it's fine by me.

TheSkiingGardener Tue 14-Jun-11 14:56:48

As long as the level of advertising attached to it is controlled I think it's a good idea for large corporations to show some social responsibility. It does sometimes feel as though there are lots of people claiming big business messes up society, but when they do give something back it's greeted with suspicion.

Goblinchild Tue 14-Jun-11 14:57:11

Sponsorship is now a fact of life in many voluntary organisations, where will the funding come from otherwise?
I think it is wise to look at the ethics of a company before accepting sponsorship, B&Q are 18th on the Sunday Times Green list, and are trying to reduce their carbon foot print even more. Their wood is ethically-sourced and FSC certified.
So it could be worse.

swanker Tue 14-Jun-11 15:04:02

I disagree with it. I think all advertising to children should be banned, and I think this forms part of the commercialisation of children's lives which is wrong and A. Bad. Thing.

If these companies genuinely wanted to do a good deed, they would not require the advertising of the donations they had made.

create Tue 14-Jun-11 15:19:49

There are loads of them. One of my DS2's Beaver badges bears the Hot Wheels logo, though as with most of his badges, he doesn't seem to know what it's for!

I didn't like it as first, but this is one form of advertising I can honestly say has had no effect on my DSs - I don't think they've even noticed.

nicespam Tue 14-Jun-11 15:22:16

think it's great but not if it doesn't go to grassroots, they should be giving loads of stuff to troops

though i think better sponsorship than losing a service

yousankmybattleship Tue 14-Jun-11 15:31:51

Most voluntary orgs would really struggle without sponsorship. I think it is a bit naive to think tehy could do all the work they do without help from companies.

Spirael Tue 14-Jun-11 15:43:32

The police sponsor the Community Challenge Award! Definitely not a new thing, it's been happening for ages. I have no problem with it, Scouts tends to run on a shoestring as it is and deals like this make it more accessible for lower income families.

The subs fund the activities/insurances/etc. The badges aren't charged for beyond the subs and they're duly provided whether the child earns 1 or 100 badges during their time in Scouts.

If anyone does have a problem with their child having a 'branded' badge on their uniform, there is always the option to get a blank badge and sew your own design. I doubt any leaders would have a problem with this, shows initiative and creativity!

madwomanintheattic Tue 14-Jun-11 15:47:24

i think it's brilliant. no children actually notice or care, so any liberal angst is entirely misplaced.

<and nice subtle headline, justine. 'ooo, is it supposed to bother me?!'>

perchance a tad biased...

ChippyMinton Tue 14-Jun-11 16:00:44

I have asked DS1 (9) and a Cub what he thinks. He says on sponsored badges the logo doesn't look nice and it makes the badge symbol smaller, so recognition isn't as easy.
And he doesn't like the idea of sponsors changing from year to year, so the badges look completely different.

Shoesytwoesy Tue 14-Jun-11 16:02:22

sounds like a good idea to me, the scouts will enjoy doing the badge and the organization will get money, win win

weblette Tue 14-Jun-11 16:11:07

As has been said, this really isn't a new story, badge sponsorship's been around for ages.
I don't have a problem with it. When I do badges with my Beaver Scouts I certainly never mention the sponsor (if there is one) and as the sponsor is usually relevant to the subject, chances are the children will be aware of them anyway.

When DH was involved with a major charity they looked at sponsoring a badge - £20000 was the minimum cost...

PrettyCandles Tue 14-Jun-11 16:20:00

On the one hand, I don't like some of these sponsorships - particularly Kellogs on swimming badges/certs (this was a few years ago, don't know if it's still current). OTOH volunteer organisations, like the Scouting movement, need the financial support.

And, while a manufacturer of over-priced sugary cereals sponsoring a sporting activity bothers me, Rolls Royce sponsoring the Cubs' Scientist badge doesn't bother me.

Snobbery? Maybe.

Or perhaps an instinct that personal, individual, endeavour and achievement should not be branded by a faceless corporation whose objectives reduce individuality, and may even be contrary to the ideals we are trying to instil in our children.

ChippyMinton Tue 14-Jun-11 16:31:18

I've just had a look at the badge pages on the Cubs website, and note that sponsorship is barely mentioned, and the badges are show without corporate logos. There are links to corporately-branded resource packs, but again it's very low-key and relevant to the badge.

nicespam Tue 14-Jun-11 16:38:37

does anyone know if companies like mcdonalds do any sports sponsorships?

madwomanintheattic Tue 14-Jun-11 16:55:59

i think they stick to providing family accom at hospitals/ funding dayrooms etc. having known several people who've used the houses at very difficult periods, i think i'd rather they stuck to that than diversified. whatever the product, the families are very grateful.

Goblinchild Tue 14-Jun-11 17:00:23

For those who disapprove of sponsorship from any source, how about the 51 million adults in the UK donating £10 a year to children's organisations such as scouts?
Problem solved.

vogonmothership Tue 14-Jun-11 17:06:02

Creating new resources, such as badges, books, redeveloping the programme and so on takes a lot of person hours and a lot of money. Cash from corporate sponsorship enables this to happen as money from subscriptions and trading service is simply not enough. To keep organisations such as Guiding and Scouting relevant it has to happen. So yes 'grassroots' scouting will directly benefit from badge sponsorship.

(not that I know anything about programme development etc wink)

PrettyCandles Tue 14-Jun-11 18:50:51

Chippy, the sponsorship logos do appear. That's the whole point (from the sponsor's POV): advertising.

They may not be shown on the website, but they certainly appear on the badges. I should know - I've sewn enough onto ds's sleeve!

The current issue of the scouting magazine lists 20 'partnerships', and shows 15 badges with the logos. Some are discreet, but in some the logo is more obvious than the badge image!

Most of the partnerships dont bother me, some are very appropriate (eg Ordnance Survey for the Navigator badges), but I don't feel comfortable with Microsoft advertising on the IT badge, or Walls advertising on the Camp Cooks badge.

ChippyMinton Tue 14-Jun-11 21:56:22

sorry if it wasnt clear that i was talking about the website rather than the cloth badges. the point i wanted to make was that the sponsorship message is quite low key at the point where the cubs would be looking into what is required to gain the badge. its only once the cloth badge is awarded that it becomes more intrusive.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 14-Jun-11 22:03:55


i think it's brilliant. no children actually notice or care, so any liberal angst is entirely misplaced.

<and nice subtle headline, justine. 'ooo, is it supposed to bother me?!'>

perchance a tad biased...

No, it's a straight question and I have no interest in influencing the answer. Not sure how else I could have asked it tbh?

Thanks for the input everyone. I think it's quite an interesting one. Personally I'm not particularly bothered by this but there are certainly some forms of commercial sponsorship around kids' things that would bother me. So pinning down what does and doesn't irk is quite an interesting process for me.

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