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Companies Vie for Spots on Back-to-School Lists

Whether it’s through a ready-made list, or by offering coupons and freebies, companies are all vying for the attention of teachers and parents looking to purchase school supplies this time of year. From the Wall Street Journal.

The school supplies list that fifth-grade teacher Judy Chase-Marshall put together for her students this year includes tissues, glue sticks, scissors and hand wipes. To be more specific, it includes Kleenex tissues, Elmer’s glue, Westcott scissors and Wet Ones hand wipes.

She made the classroom “wish list” using, a website that posts more than 300,000 back-to-school lists from around the country and is sponsored by the brands it suggests teachers add to their lists, like Kimberly-Clark Corp.’s Kleenex.

Teachers can then share the list with parents using the website. The key back-to-school shopping season is in full swing, and it’s offering a lesson in how deep into the trenches consumer-products companies will go to win market share and cement affinities for their brands.

Companies sponsor websites, offer freebies and hold sweepstakes that could win schools more of their products. They show up at education conferences and provide teachers with project ideas and lesson plans that incorporate their products. Some also donate supplies or money to schools…

With American families spending more than $26 billion, and many companies making 40 to 50 percent of their annual profits during the back-to-school season, it’s no wonder the competition is fierce. More here.



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