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.