Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel estimates that Chicago can raise $25 million by letting companies advertise on city assets. Chicago has now hired anadvertising consultant at a cost of $144,000 to help the City generate advertising revenue.

Other municipalities have considered creative ways to generate advertising revenue such as:

– transit riders in Philadelphia buy fare cards blazoned with ads for McDonald’s and ride the Broad Street Line to AT&T Station (formerly Pattison Station)

– KFC placed its logo on manhole covers and fire hydrants in several cities in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee after paying to fill potholes and replace hydrants.

– Pizza chains now advertise on some school buses in some communities

– Baltimore is exploring placing ads on City fire trucks to prevent closing fire houses

Some people are very troubled about having private companies advertise on public property. With cities across the country struggling to survive and some even filing bankruptcy, should more cities explore generating revenue by selling advertising on government assets?

www.reinventinggov.org 

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