Direct Marketing Practices

The Committee recognizes that in a competitive marketplace the use of direct marketing can be an ethical and viable means of soliciting students. It also recognizes that it is the students’ and their parents’ right/responsibility to make the determination to participate in contests and activities. To assist principals, parents, and students in evaluating these programs, the following guidelines should be considered.

The Committee encourages all contests, activities, or programs presented to students by means of direct marketing apply for review and listing in the NASSP National List of Approved Contests, Programs, and Activities for Students and meet all applicable standards.

When direct marketing practices to students use postal or electronic mail:

  • Organizations should notify the principal/authorized school personnel prior to sending program materials to students.
  • A copy of early registration materials should be sent to the school prior to being mailed to students.
  • Organizations or businesses using letters of nomination and/or identification should include the following information in program invitation letters to students:
    • Clearly name the person who nominated the student for the program, or
    • Clearly identify the source from which the student’s name was acquired.
  • The initial contact letter should clearly disclose all program fees along with other required or optional costs to the students and direct them to check with their principals to ensure that the program is in compliance with local guidelines and policies.
  • Program applications should be signed by the principal or authorized designee.
  • Organizations should maintain a policy of removing groups of student names from their mailing list at the request of the schools.

When direct marketing practices use the Internet:

  • Program web pages should include a notice to students instructing them to invite principals to visit the website in order to assist the students and parents in evaluating the programs being considered.
  • Program web information should clearly disclose all program fees, along with other required or optional costs to the students.
  • The application should direct students to check with their principal to ensure that the program is in compliance with local guidelines and policies.
  • Program applications that may be downloaded should require the signature of the principal or authorized designee.
  • Direct registrations over the web should include a check box indicating that the principal or authorized designee has been consulted or notified by the student and/or parents prior to registration.
  • Direct registrations over the web should include fields for students to include the name and email address of their principal.