When is the Line Crossed When Placing Ads on School Buses?


Boston University article brings up interesting perspective that can be related to the topic of placing advertisements on school buses.


An article that made its way onto a Google News search because of a single use of the term “school bus” makes an interesting point that gives pause to idea of placing ads on school buses. According to the story, the subway system, known as “the T,” is like “a school bus for the 26,000 Boston students who use it to get to school.” And, on their daily commutes, these students are inundated with advertisements. But, among the most troubling to some students, are the ads that focus on selling alcohol.

Michael Siegel, a School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, stated that based on his research, riders on “the T” see five times the amount of advertisements for alcohol than while watching the Super Bowl:

“If we saw alcohol ads on an actual school bus, we would say that it was completely inappropriate. There’s no question that exposure to alcohol advertising influences these kids. There’s a large body of research that shows how alcohol advertising affects one’s alcohol attitudes, and ultimately one’s drinking behavior.”

Of course there would never be an instance where states would allow ads for alcohol to be place on the inside or outside of buses, but what about junk food and video games? With budgets getting cut more and more, more ads might be come more of a reality.

After New Jersey Governor Chris Christie reduced aid to schools by $812 million to balance an $11 billion budget deficit in the current fiscal year, the idea of making up those losses by pasting a few ads to the outside of the school buses could soon be a reality. As of today, the bill has made it through the assembly and is now in the hands of the Senate. It will be interesting to see if the language includes the types of ads that will be allowable.