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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

No go for Gecko

Whew, drivers have been spared seeing the Gecko every time they cross the George Washington Bridge. The Port Authority has backed out of a contract for a $3.2 million advertising campaign by Geico with billboards at the bridge, saying it wasn't worth the grief. Somehow, the Port Authority folks, in the words of a spokesman, "misjudged the negative reaction'' of putting ads on a national institution like the GWB. How could they?

Here we have a captive audience, none too thrilled about passing through tollbooths in the first place, faced with an ad and Geico's lizard mascot. Then there's a company in a state-regulated industry gaining a competitive edge with ads on a bridge run by a government agency. And New Jersey officials were never told what other companies, if any, put in bids to gain the contract. Not to mention the reaction when Geico literature was sent out with E-ZPass bills once a year.

The billboard, reading "Geico -- Drive Safely,'' was ready to be unveiled. Someone from one of the ad agencies that came up with the idea had the chutzpah to call it a public service announcement. Com'on. An ad is an ad -- and it doesn't belong there.


Blogger margaret said...

Wouldn't it be cool if instead of advertisements, they put American history on the billboard(s)? They could change the quote or historical information every month? At at least it would be informative and interesting, a conversation starter when you're stuck on the bridge with your impatient kids (or spouse).

8:24 AM, January 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now how do you expect Corzins and his pals to siphon off money from that?

9:50 AM, January 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get a DVD player for your vehicle, Margaret. The kids will like watching Dora the Explorer far more than they would enjoy hearing you telling them about Truman's decision to bomb Hiroshima.

1:58 PM, January 10, 2007  
Blogger margaret said...

Always a cynic in the crowd.

4:49 PM, January 10, 2007  

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