Big brands back loyalty initiative to help schools

Marks & Spencer, Iceland, Burger King and BT Broadband are among 40 brands to sign up to Schools Plus, a marketing scheme that launches in 3000 UK schools from the end of April.

Schools will sell voucher books to parents for £10, consisting of money-off coupons and special offers from the participating brands, and earn £6 from each book sold.

In providing cash, the initiative claims to give schools more spending freedom than cause related schemes from Walkers, Tesco and Persil, which raise money for books, computers and art materials respectively.

Burger King is to promote Schools Plus at point of sale in its branches.

Voucher books for the summer term will be followed by another in the autumn term, for which Nestle will be a partner. The launch follows a year-long pilot campaign to sign schools up.

Sue Adkins, director of the cause related marketing campaign at Business in the Community, welcomed the scheme, but said: "The mechanic is very different because unlike other schemes, this will require parents to make a purchase they weren't going to anyway."

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