MFD: This space still for rent
Just two years ago, the Minneapolis Fire Department drew some criticism for selling out. The department, facing a severe budget crunch, sold advertising space on its trucks as a potential revenue generator. The criticism passed, but apparently the need for money didn't: The contract was renewed, and likely will be again.
The ad space went to Quit Plan, a smoking cessation program that is funded by the Minnesota Partnership for Action Against Tobacco. MPAAT, some may recall, was created out of the state's 1998 lawsuit against Big Tobacco--the money spent advertising Quit Plan is in fact public money.
Two years ago, the MFD agreed to sell the space on six engines to the tune of $50,000. The offer will apparently be extended for 2006, winding its way through two council committees and coming before the full council this Friday. This year the Quit Plan ads will give the department $32,130. In case you're wondering, the MFD's entire budget for 2006 is around $50 million.