Advertising Absurdity or Branding Brilliance?

Published March 10, 2009 9:10 am by LoSasso
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According to a recent article written by Brandweek’s Robert Klara, municipalities across the United States are selling ad space on everything they own.

A school located near Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport is considering plans to sell ad space on its roof, parking lot and stadium. Even the bottom of the school’s swimming pool is a potential money-making spot.

To some this may sound absurd, but advertising initiatives are rampant.

Chicago is taking RFPs to allow companies to name stations on the transit line.

New York has already wrapped an entire subway train (inside and out) in ads, and also sells ad space on station floors.

Brooklyn officials have proposed selling ad space on city trashcans and construction scaffolding.

And several cities are already allowing advertising on the sides of school buses, also known as “busvertising.”


Many applaud the new techniques and see only a win-win situation. Brands get to advertise in highly affective and innovative ways, while cities get revenue without raising taxes.

On the other hand, opponents argue that taxpayer-supported civic properties are inappropriate locations for ad space.

How do you feel about these new ad spots?