Saturday, January 30, 2010
Washington State to Allow School Bus Advertisements?
Washington State children may have a new way to remember which bus to ride. Thanks to possible legislation, school kids might be saying, "I'm on the one with the Nike swoosh," or, "I ride the State Farm bus." These advertisements aren't restricted to the sides of the bus; the insides, too, can be plastered with the logos of corporate sponsors, a slick way to gain the attention of a young, vulnerable, and captive audience. In the end, however, school boards can reject or restrict advertisements.
One original bill simply includes provisions about advertisements. A second version includes a section that allows districts to put the American flag on the bus in addition to allowing corporate ads, a weak nod that seems to acknowledge, "Yes, we're selling out, but we can at least put up a flag to remember this is still a public school bus." The Senate report acknowledges the income from ads would be "a drop in the bucket" ($175,000), and that the very idea may be a distraction for the community. Another comment, which shows the wisdom is there, it's just not taken into serious consideration, cautions "Advertising to children on school buses is questionable."