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Sunday, August 11, 2019

Our rolling billboards


An ad-free trolley.


The headline, "Our Rolling Billboards," was a headline I used so many years ago in an article I did in the 1980s when I wrote about advertisements being put on the side of buses at that time. I can't remember if it was something new, but I was offended by the county buses having ads splattered all over them.

I was reminded of that this weekend when a lady posted something on that "Nextdoor" message board about the trolleys in the Grove being splattered with ads all over them, only unlike the buses in the '80s which had a small ad on the side, buses and trolleys now are wrapped.

I thought it was funny when the lady posted her complaint because she said due to the ads, people found it distasteful and wouldn't take the trolleys because they found the ads so offensive. The ads themselves weren't offensive, the fact that there were ads at all and that the old fashioned trolleys were wrapped was offensive.

I agree that it is offensive, and didn't like when the big red buses ended up turning a different color when they were wrapped, but I don't think people aren't taking trolleys because they don't like the fact that they are wrapped in ads. I mean, if you need transportation and it's free transportation at that, then why not take the thing? Are you going to walk instead to boycott the idea of ads paying the cost of the transportation for you?

I almost answered the lady with some snide remark, but didn't want her to get offended by my leaving a funny response (so I did it here).

By the way, one of my old neighbors insists that he came up with the idea of wrapping buses in advertisements. I don't know if it's true or not, but one time he told me a whole story of the concept and of how a big bus came down our small street to show off the first wrapped bus to him so he could inspect it. Who knows. But now everything is wrapped in ads, not just trolleys and buses, I mean look at the Freebee, the whole concept is free rides based on ads paying the bills. 

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