Restroom ads nixed
Media company concerned about vandalism
By Scott Bellile
The New London Economic Development Committee will not involve its public park restrooms in an indoor advertising deal.
New London City Administrator Kent Hager said at the Nov. 28 committee meeting that Kris Bolstad, business development manager for marketing company AllOver Media, told the city that park restrooms would be risky venues for his company’s “indoor billboard” display cases.
“He said thanks for the offer but the threat of vandalism is just too much,” Hager said. “They pay for [repairing damage] and besides the pay, it hurts their brand when things are damaged and they don’t get repaired right away.”
“I can understand that point of view,” committee member and Fourth District Alderman Ron Steinhorst replied, agreeing that vandalism has been an ongoing issue in park restrooms.
The economic development committee invited Bolstad to a meeting in September where he shared how his business works. The topic was revisited at multiple city committee meetings since then.
The indoor advertising proposal would work as a tradeoff. City parks would display businesses’ ads in bathroom stalls and above urinals. In turn, the city would receive ad space inside businesses’ restrooms in other communities.
Nonresidents would be the target of any of the city’s advertising. The ads would encourage outsiders to come check out New London.
At the Oct. 31 economic development meeting, New London Mayor Gary Henke gave an example of what an ad slogan might say: “New London: Great place to live, great place to visit, great place to get a job.”
Hager said at the Nov. 28 economic development committee meeting that Bolstad is open to exploring other options that would not involve the city’s park restrooms.
Committee member and First District Alderman John Faucher felt it could still be worth the money to pay AllOver Media to display New London ads in other communities, even if New London’s parks do not host indoor billboards in return.
He suggested the committee revisit the topic in January. By then the committee expects to know its 2018 marketing budget.
Also in January, the committee expects to discuss whether to renew a digital marketing contract with Clintonville-based firm My Marketing Director.
Bill Zeinert, owner of My Marketing Director, has been filming two-to-four-minute online videos for the city to promote topics such as New London’s industry, downtown business community and parks system.
The committee paid My Marketing Director $14,000 in 2017 to film, edit and market the videos.
Discontinuing the contract could make committee dollars available to market New London in new ways, such as restroom advertising.
“To be honest with you folks it might be time to do some level of diversification,” Zeinert told the committee of its marketing tactics at the Nov. 28 meeting. “The project I think still has opportunities. Yet looking at how many more, if I can speak against my own medium, how many more videos do you need? … I want anything that we do for you to have a value for a longer period of time and more of the same I don’t think will deliver that.”