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Ads on fire trucks and police cars? Yep, it is already happening

By Capitol Hill Blue
July 5, 2012

Cash-strapped American cities are exploring selling ad space on fire trucks, rescue vehicles and even manhole covers as a way to cut deficits.

Baltimore’s City Council last month passed a resolution instructing the city administration to explore selling ads on its fire tucks.  Philadelphia pimps out its subway fare cards to ad McDonalds and AT&T even sponsors a station on the city’s Broad Street line.

Kentucky Fried Chicken gave money to cities in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee to fill potholes and replace fire hydrants and — in return — was able to stick its logo on manhole covers and hydrants.

Public schools offer billboards for ads at sports stadiums and some are even selling naming rights for football fields.  School buses in some public districts now carry ad for pizza and junk food.

In Tyngsborough, Mass, the town government considered selling ad space on police cars but scrapped the idea but East St. Louis, Illinois, plastered ads on its cars years ago.

But rural sheriff’s departments have long sold ads on calendars that feature photos of the force and emergency phone numbers.  In Littleton, CO, ran an “advertize with the good guys” program that raised money to buy new police cars with ads on fenders and trunks.

4 Responses to Ads on fire trucks and police cars? Yep, it is already happening

  1. woody188

    July 5, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Nothing like pimping out our public property to our corporate masters for a few crumbs more.

  2. Sandy Price

    July 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I paid for my book store ads on local television stations…..what’s the difference?

  3. Jon

    July 7, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Sometimes I wonder just how well this works. The ad agencies scream all about it, about “getting your brand out there”, and have done some (seriously badly skewed) studies about it, but I suspect the motive is more ‘profit for the ad agencies’ than it is ‘profit for the company’.
    J.
    PS – There’s a valid point in ‘Hey, there’s a bookstore over here!’ information versus ‘Look! My Brand! Everywhere!’. J.

  4. Murphy Jones

    July 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Why don’t they make the beat cops wear sandwich board advertising while they’re at it?