ZapMe to schools: Pay for your free computers

MSNBC is reporting that ZapMe! has zapped public schools with an ultimatum: pay for your free computers or we\'re taking them back.

According to the article, the company is blaming Ralph Nader (a popular pastime these days) because the notion of advertising to a captive audience didn\'t sit well with some folks.

This is an important warning sign to public libraries, too: if your partnership with a corporation sours, you may find yourself worse off than before you started.\"In a letter dated Nov. 10, ZapMe! told schools it will no longer subsidize school computer labs through advertising revenue. If the schools want to keep their computers, they’ll have to lease or buy them.

ZapMe! Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lance Mortenson blamed pressure from consumer groups, which criticized ZapMe!’s use of advertising in schools.

Mortenson said the criticism is the number one reason the company has abandoned the business plan. \'It just became an impossible model. People didn’t want their brands associated with something Ralph Nader was going to attack,\' Mortenson said.\"

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