Press Release

Media Literacy Project Announces Bad Ad and Counter Ad Contest Winners

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Contact Information: 
Shana Heinricy,, (505) 828-3388

Albuquerque, NM: April 24, 2014: Jordan Eckl, grade 12, won Bad Ad, a nationwide media literacy contest for students in grades 6 through 12. Media Literacy Project, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, annually sponsors two media literacy contests:  Bad Ad and Counter Ad.

The Bad Ad contest calls for students to find a print ad to deconstruct, answering key media literacy questions and identifying techniques of persuasion. Jordan Eckl from Hartland, Wisconsin won $100 for his essay about the sexist images in an American Crew advertisement. Teacher Elizabeth Jorgensen, whose students won last year’s Bad Ad and Counter Ad contests, sponsored Eckl’s entry. Seventh-grader Kavya Alagendran from O’Fallon, Missouri won first runner-up and a $50 prize for her essay about a Splenda ad and the untold-stories of the health effects of the artificial sweetener.

The Counter Ad contest asks students to create a parody of an existing ad by altering some of the ad’s components, like changing the ad’s tagline and flipping the frame on the techniques of persuasion. All three winners of this contest were from Fort Zumwalt West Middle School in O’Fallon, Missouri. Shawn Davenport, grade 7, won the contest for his Kool-Aid counter-ad where he changed the text to talk about the calories and sugar in Kool-Aid. Davenport won $100. Siddharth Balaji, grade 8, won first runner-up with a counter-ad of an Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh ad, winning $50. Anthony Ferrante, grand 7, won second runner-up and $25 for his Citi Card ad.

“These contests provide a glimpse into media literacy for students, building their confidence in constructing arguments visually and in writing,” said Andrea Quijada, executive director for Media Literacy Project.

The Bad Ad competition was first developed by Media Literacy Project (MLP) in 1998, as a way to promote youth voices in the media justice movement. The Bad Ad competition is open to middle and high school age students and requires that students write a critical analysis of an ad using MLP’s Language of Persuasion framework. MLP later added the Counter Ad contest that took students a step beyond simply critiquing problematic ads, to re-creating the ad with a counter message.

All of the winning entries are available on Media Literacy Project’s website on the Counter Ad and Bad Ad pages. Join the MLP mailing list for the August 2014 announcement of next year’s Bad Ad and Counter Ad contests and encourage your child or their school to participate.

About Media Literacy Project:

Media Literacy Project (MLP), a non-profit organization based in Albuquerque, is a nationally recognized leader in media literacy resources and education that transforms everyday people into critical media consumers and engaged media justice advocates. MLP offers a comprehensive, social-justice approach to media literacy, addressing its three components: access, analysis, and creation. Since 1993, MLP has worked with schools and community organizations locally, nationally and internationally to deliver dynamic media literacy trainings and curricula, as well as to support media justice campaigns.

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