December 19th, 2013

School advertising equals pocket change, not a gold mine

By Samantha Freda
Philadelphia Business Journal

At the start of the new year, City Council will decide whether or not to allow advertising in Philadelphia schools to generate revenue for the struggling school district. The bill’s proponents have touted it as a way to make millions, but there is considerable research indicating that it could turn out to be a financial flop.

In 2011, the Pennsbury School District tried the same approach but discontinued the program due to insignificant financial gain. Ads were placed on surfaces inside the schools, mostly consisting of public service announcements. The advertising initiative was estimated to generate $424,000 toward the annual budget but instead “the extent of the profits was only a fraction of what was projected,” said Ann Langtry, spokeswoman for the Pennsbury School District.

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