The National Core Curriculum of basic education states that school and education may not be used as a channel of commercial influence. The FCCA and the Finnish National Board of Education have published instructions on cooperation, marketing and sponsorship between schools and educational institutions, and companies and organisations (in Finnish). These instructions state that schools and teachers may not engage in advertising.
Parents have the right to decide what kind of marketing their children are exposed to at schools and day care centres. Therefore, schools and day care centres must obtain a parent's consent if they wish to
- distribute marketing material such as advertisements, product samples or free publications funded largely by advertising money, or organize marketing events
- offer products for purchase by placing orders for class rings or T-shirts, for example
If a company is financially supporting a project of a school or other educational institution, no advertising slogans or logos, other than a logo that identifies the sponsor, may appear in the associated materials.
If your child brings items home from school that you did not consent to, such as sample issues or order forms, or if you notice corporate slogans or advertising images in your child's books, for example, you can express your opinion to
School photos can be returned
Parents do not have to buy school and day care centre photos, but can return them. Parents have the right to be informed ahead of time about school photography
- photo selections
- photo return rights
Based on the advance information, a parent can have a discussion with a child about purchasing or not purchasing photos. Under the advance notification system, parents know about school photography ahead of time, give consent for a child to participate, and agree to accept photos for viewing.
If any problems emerge in the advance notification or return process for your child's school or day care centre photographs, inform
- the principal/school / the photographer's studio
- contact a consumer adviser if a dispute arises
Vending machines for drinks and sweets
Snack vending machines for sweets and soft drinks are a form of marketing, so they are subject to the parent's right to decide about marketing directed at their underage children. Product marketing is often incorporated into the design of the machine itself.
Snack vending machines also affect a child's eating habits in a way that is not compatible with the concept of a healthy diet at home. It is difficult for a parent to bring up a child with healthy eating habits when marketing directed at children is simultaneously encouraging the opposite attitude.
The Finnish Consumer Agency, National Board of Education and National Public Health Institute recommend that in schools and educational institutions,
- sweets, soft drinks and sweetened juices should not be sold on a regular basis, at least not during school hours
- snack vending machines or kiosks should offer healthy products.
You can have an impact on vending machine products and availability times at your child's school by contacting
the school nurse/principal and students' union