- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Recent editorials from Louisiana newspapers:

Jan. 28

American Press, Lake Charles, La., on ads a novel way for DOTD to raise money:

A Louisiana state agency is pitching a novel idea to raise money for its operations. The state Department of Transportation and Development has issued requests to consultants who would run a campaign to sell advertisements for state roads, bridges, rest areas, ferries, scenic areas and even vests worn by transportation employees while they are working on roads.

“State agencies are just getting outside the box, thinking about how to raise money and pay for services,” Rhett Desselle, a DOTD assistant secretary told The Advocate of Baton Rouge.

Creative thinking, some might say. A cynic, however, might point out that the need for such a gimmick to supplement the state’s $25 billion budget speaks volumes about the mismanagement of said budget.

DOTD has already put the practice into action. State Farm, the largest insurer in the state, is paying the department $250,000 annually for three years to have the company’s name and logo appear on Motorist Assistant Patrol trucks, which aid stalled vehicles in metropolitan areas to ensure traffic flow.

Desselle said the sponsorship is open to “anybody that can provide the most value.”

However, the state has the right of refusal based on content. That’s to prevent say an ad for a strip club appearing on a bridge or a rest stop.

Any money raised will be plowed back into DOTD’s $350 million operating budget.

DOTD officials would do well to make a push to sell advertising signs for the Cameron ferry which seems to be out of commission almost as often as when it’s running.

Corporate sponsorship is nothing new. State agencies delving into it is.

The earning potential remains the question. Its success rate will be based on that and whether the public accepts it.

Online:

http://www.americanpress.com

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