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Norwalk hires firm to sell bus advertising

NORWALK — City officials are hoping to recoup some of the cost of their citywide bus service by selling advertisements on the exteriors of the 30-plus vehicle fleet.

The City Council June 4 contracted with Outfront Media to manage the ad program for three years.

The vote was unanimous and there was no council or audience comment.

In a report to the council, Director of Transportation James C. Parker said Outfront Media, the current ad manager, was the sole responder to its Feb. 25 request for bids.

The firm has agree to allocate 40 percent of the monthly advertising revenue to the city. Estimated revenue of $40,000 is included in the proposed fiscal year 2019-20 Transportation Department budget, Parker said.

He said the contract will run from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022 with two additional one-year periods from July 1 through June 30 of each year thereafter.

Requirements call for the firm to provide management, sales, placement, safe removal and disposal of exterior advertising on the city’s fleet of fixed-route buses, Parker said.

The contract calls for the firm:

• To broker all advertising sales contacts.

• Coordinate production and printing of advertisement materials.

• Post and remove advertising signage on the city’s bus fleet.

• Collect revenues from clients and disburse funds to the city. 

• And comply with all other customary business practices in the sale, placement and removal of exterior advertising.

“Revenue sharing of 40 percent is standard in the transit advertising industry,” Parker told the council. “Historically, Norwalk Transportation Services received a fixed amount of $22,000 a year from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2012. However, switching over to a revenue-sharing agreement has increased revenue to approximately $37,000 in recent years,” he added.

He noted that the city has authority to reject certain ads which may urge use of alcohol, drugs or tobacco or relate to sexual activity.

By Arnold Adler