Maybe the better question should be, who’s not selling any metro ads?
For the umpteenth time today my westbound train on the orange line took me past the Dunn Loring stop and an ad for Hancock, opening July 2nd. What was a movie ad that was far past its expiration date has now aged so much that it just needs a small sticker to turn it into an early DVD release promotion.
Aside from the trauma caused by an early-morning exposure to an unshaven Will Smith in a grubby hat and bug-eye sunglasses, I am bothered by this question: there’s really not someone else willing to pay a few bucks for this spot? I suppose it’s possible the studio – in a fit of optimism – bought the space for a full 3 months past the movie’s release date, but it seems unlikely to me.
WMATA’s ads are sold primarily by CBS Outdoor, though a special marketing company handles the in-tunnel ads. The take from advertising across the system is what most of us would consider a pretty notable sum – $33,000,000 in 2007. However that comprises only 2% of WMATA’s total revenues, compared to passenger revenue of 36% and subsidies of 39%.
The question is, I think – could it be higher? I’d try to get some more information on WMATA’s advertising arrangements and dig a little to see if they’re really maximizing their return but it seems they’re unlikely to accomidate me.