New Metrobus Costs a Lot to Advertise

Metro is spending almost a mil on ads for bus service

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCWashington.com

    The next time you see a sign advertising the new Metrobus, you might also see dollar signs.

    Metro plans on spending $739,000 to publicize its new bus services.
    This would make perfect sense in a perfect world where advertising generates sales which then elevate profits.
    In this imperfect world, though, Metro is facing a $40 million budget crisis and is thinking of raising fares and cutting rides to make up for the gap.
    The campaign, called “The New Metrobus. See how far we’ve come,” will run until March, according to the Washington Examiner. Print and radio spots began in September. Some ads are also posted on Metro buses and stations.
    Some of the new buses are painted with new color schemes, but Metro said the changes go beyond appearance.
    "The changes added up to more than just the paint scheme and the new vehicles,” Metro spokeswoman Cathy Asato said in an interview with the paper.  
    Despite the makeover, bus ridership has still gone down recently.
    So why is the agency spending hundreds of thousands dollars in advertising during a budget crisis?
    Asato told the Examiner, the agency’s advertising campaign fell within the marketing budget guidelines.