Archive for Thursday, November 21, 2002

Roll out the advertising

November 21, 2002


Advertising logos on police cars? Where will we draw the line?

According to recent news reports, about 500 law enforcement agencies throughout the United States have expressed interest in exploring the idea of getting free patrol vehicles in exchange for allowing commercial advertising messages to adorn the cars.

A North Carolina company reportedly is offering government bodies new police cars for just $1 each if the company can display advertising logos on the cars. After three years, the cars are turned back to the North Carolina operation, which will replace them with new vehicles.

Eudora Police Chief Bill Long is said to have scoffed at the idea, but Douglas County Sheriff Rick Trapp said, âÂÂIf itâÂÂs ethical and legal and saves the county money, then itâÂÂs worth looking at.âÂÂ

It was reported the Lawrence Police Department is not interested in the proposal.

Is there anything in this country that canâÂÂt be bought? If law enforcement bodies buy into the free police car deal, how long will it be before police, sheriff and highway patrol cars look like NASCAR race cars plastered with advertising logos. And when all space on the cars is taken, why not follow the NASCAR model and cover law enforcement officersâ uniforms with advertising logos?

Most major college athletic teams carry the logos of the manufacturers of sports equipment. The National Invitational Basketball tournament, in which the Kansas University Jayhawks are playing this week, is a commercially sponsored event. Large sports arenas can be bought and named for a price. Coca Cola buys exclusive rights to all soft drinks on the KU campus, and Pepsi is engaged in similar deals on other campuses. The list of buyable people, stadiums, athletes, etc., increases every day. Now police cars are for sale. WhatâÂÂs next?

Is there anything the public would say is totally and forever off-limits when it comes to being bought and sponsored by some enterprising business venture?

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