Valley Metro Strives for Balanced Ad Policy

Posted on November 14, 2012 by Brittni Rubin, Assistant Editor

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Currently, there are 50 light rail vehicles in the entire fleet — 10 of which can have full train wraps while another four are reserved for community wraps. There’s no limitation on the number of center section train wraps.

Metro displays ads on vehicle interiors and offers ceiling ads as well, which Foose says might be catching wind.

“It has been a very, very successful advertising program,” says Foose. “Our original estimates were maybe a few hundred thousand dollars per year, and now, we’re upward of $600,000 that comes directly to our agency.”

Valley Metro’s community train wrap program is for community-centric advertising or messaging and events of regional significance.

“We look for really significant events that bring an infusion of dollars to the whole region by way of tourism, hotel rooms and more,” says Foose.

The operation’s first wraps were for the 2009 NBA All-Star game in Phoenix. They were created through a partnership between the transit agency, the Phoenix Suns and the NBA as a way to do local promotion.

Valley Metro also partners with Local First, an organization that advocates local businesses. Together, they put together train wraps to get the word out about Arizonian businesses, venues, entertainment and buying local foods.

Alcohol advertising is also new on the horizon for Valley Metro. The policy now allows for these ads on light rail vehicles and stations, due to their large source of revenue. The board of directors was initially concerned about a potentially negative community reaction. But being that Phoenix is such an urban environment, says Foose, most residents were immune to this form of advertisement.

Valley Metro uses CBS Outdoor to sell, coordinate and install ad projects on their behalf. The transit agency approves all advertisements, based on their own ad policy criteria, and gets roughly 60% of the gross of sales.

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