Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

City Expects to Build Revenue through Advertising

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

City Expects to Build Revenue through Advertising

Article excerpt

Companies would be allowed to buy naming rights to city buildings and advertise on city vehicles and employee uniforms, at swimming pools and recreation centers, in city mailings and on benches and parking meters under legislation to be introduced today in Pittsburgh City Council.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said in a statement that the policy is intended to generate additional revenue in a "responsible and community-minded" way. This year's city budget projects $500,000 in revenue from advertising.

"We have worked closely with council members and the community to craft the best possible policy," he said. Councilman Bill Peduto, who will introduce the bill, said officials have been studying the issue for years.

The bill would prohibit advertisements for alcohol, guns, tobacco and sexually oriented businesses, such as strip clubs and adult book stores. Political and religious messages also would be barred.

In at least one respect, the city's policy would be more restrictive than that of the Allegheny County Port Authority, which allows alcohol advertising on buses.

The legislation would allow companies or organizations to buy naming rights to some buildings, such as senior centers. The bill doesn't list other buildings that are eligible for sponsorships, but it specifies some that are not eligible, including the City-County Building and police, fire and paramedic stations.

City council would have to approve the renaming of buildings under the policy.

The legislation also would allow companies or organizations to sponsor programs or events, much as Dick's Sporting Goods sponsors the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon.

The bill would allow advertising on the uniforms of public-works and parks employees but prohibit it on uniforms worn by public- safety personnel.

Advertising would be permitted on some city-owned vehicles; "the whole vehicle may be wrapped or painted," the legislation says. No advertising would be permitted on police cars, fire trucks or paramedic vehicles.

In addition, advertising would be permitted on the city website and city cable channel; as inserts with city mailings; on park structures, such as pavilions, pool houses and recreation centers; and on street furniture, such as benches, bike racks, parking meters, recycling bins and garbage cans. …

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