School Bus Ad Sales Picking Up in Dallas County
"We saw the crunch coming and started a couple years ago," says Susan J. Falvo,
Chief of Staff at Dallas County Schools. "You knew something had to be done. You didn't need a degree in economics to see this coming."
Some of the eight participating districts were hesitant to take part in the ad program initially, Falvo says, but ultimately agreed to take part when they saw the financial success other districts had. The agency has also left a great deal of control up to the schools: Ads featuring alcohol, tobacco, political and religious language are verboten under state law, and individual districts have the power to veto offending ads. So far, ads are fairly benign, featuring businesses such as dentists, tutors and credit agencies.
Michael Beauchamp, Alpha Media's CEO, says it's about more than just offering a cheaper way to advertise. "For the price of one billboard, you could buy 100 school bus ads," Beauchamp says. "Most of all, they're happy to put their money back into the schools."