Scottsdale district uses advertising to fund schools - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Scottsdale district uses advertising to fund schools

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Posted: Sunday, September 9, 2007 5:15 am | Updated: 7:33 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Real estate companies, auto dealers, anti-tobacco promoters, home developers and learning centers all follow Scottsdale children to school.

A Scottsdale company is using advertising space on the sides of Scottsdale school buses to help raise money for the Scottsdale Unified School District. Media Advertising in Motion has worked with the district for the past three years, generating about $70,000 a year for the district from advertising revenue.

Company president Jim O’Connell said advertisers include real estate companies, auto dealers, anti-tobacco promoters, home developers and learning centers.

“We look for the type of businesses that really focus on the community,” he said.

School districts must use some of the revenue gained to manage clean air on buses and for security equipment, O’Connell said. The rest of the revenue is used at the district’s discretion.

O’Connell’s company makes about 40 percent of the revenue raised by the ads and will receive an even smaller percentage in the later years of their contract with the district.

O’Connell said that usually there is a 50-50 split between schools and advertising companies.

Bob Cleverly, father of three Scottsdale students, said advertisements on school buses is a good idea.

“To me, that’s fine,” Cleverly said. “School districts need as much money as they can get.”

O’Connell said many issues come up when trying to find the right type of advertising for school buses and his company acts as a mediator between the school districts and businesses interested in advertising.

“When school districts are doing (the advertising) on their own, they are subject to the First Amendment,” O’Connell said. “Our company acts as an insulator.”

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