The Commercial Alert consumer group, led by veteran campaigner Ralph Nader, has written to members of the US Senate panel convened to consider the proposed appointment of Houston’s city schools superintendent Roderick Paige as secretary of education in the new Bush administration.

According to the letter, Paige, the personal nominee of president-elect George W Bush, "may not understand the importance of protecting children from in-school commercial advertising and marketing”.

The letter was triggered by Paige’s reported eagerness to sign an in-school promotional deal. with Coca-Cola and to allow Channel One in some Houston schools. This, the letter urges senators, should be strongly questioned: “Tell Mr. Paige that corporate advertising is not for education and America's schoolchildren should not be for sale," it pleads.

In addition to Commercial Alert, other signatories to the letter include officials of the National PTA and other consumer groups.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline