7 sinful signing mistakes small business owners make

When we think of marketing programs our minds are quickly drawn to social, print and broadcast media. Although these programs can be quite glitzy and create media and consumer buzz they overshadow an extremely impactful marketing program not often considered by managers and owners. It is the signage used at the brick and mortar store itself.

Signs in windows, on doors, over display racks or by the register are interpreted by the shopper to determine the quality of the merchandise or the management of the store. Sometimes only subliminally but always effective in relaying a message.

Whether your store is in a mall, strip center or stand alone, the same psychology of engaging a customer applies. Yet many stores fail to consider the image their signage conveys to the consumer.

Here are the seven worst messages commonly conveyed:

“We sell crap”.
“I don’t do enough business to hire a second employee”.
“This is not a serious business”.
“We keep most our doors locked because we do not trust you ”.
“Go to the bath room elsewhere”.
“Details don’t matter to us”.
“You are not welcome here”.

This is excerpted from “Send customers a positive message”, part of the “How to” series at getmaximpact.com, a website based in Rochester Hills, Mich., dedicated to business and individual growth.

Federal Reserve officials comments raises more questions than answers

Charles Evans, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago made headlines on Tuesday when he spoke at an Economic luncheon in Detroit. Covering all the broad array of subjects from the housing recovery to the labor market, Evens first came out firing with information about short term interest rates.

“We started to taper our asset purchases, but we indicated that the fed funds rate would be near zero for quite some time — quite likely well into 2015. Barring any changes to our outlook, this would translate into seven years in which short-term interest rates would be at their zero lower bound. But policy likely will need to remain highly accommodative for such a time to ensure we make adequate progress toward maximum employment and price stability — the two congressionally mandated goals for U.S. monetary policy”

The asset purchases he is specifically referring to is QE3, the latest in a round of bond purchases by the Fed to stimulate growth in the economy. Whether it has helped or not remains to be seen, however last summer, Ben Bernanke who was the heading the Fed hinted at stopping the program. This immediately had had an adverse effect on the markets, as the Dow went from 15,000 mark down to the low 14,000’s. In an effort to do damage control, a couple of days later Bernanke made a statement using the now famous term ‘tapering’. This word seemed to have a pacifying effect on the stock market as it began to continue its climb up to over the 16,000 point mark.

However, as the forth quarter of 2013 came around, Bernanke felt that there was enough positive data in the economy to justify the early tapering phase. Ten billion a month would be taken off the initial per month policy of 85 Billion dollar bond purchases.

Unfortunately a consequence of this action is to see interest rates rise as a logical next step. This has caused fear in the markets, because since the 08’ crash, equities and foreign direct investment have been low risk/high reward avenues to make some money off the top. As a result of the tapering and implications of rising interest rates, investors have been pulling out of equities and emerging markets.

According to a Businessweek Report. Global investors pulled $6.3 billion from developing-nation stocks in the week through Jan. 29, the biggest outflow since August 2011, according to Barclays Plc, citing data from EPFR Global. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index declined 0.8 percent to 919.48 and has fallen 8.3 percent this year.

As a result, January has been anything but good, the Dow has seen around a 1,200 point drop, with fears of contagion rippling through the markets. So it stands to reason that based on past behavior the Fed would try to make a publicized statement in order to put investors at ease. Which is perfectly understandable, however it just raises some questions of the actual credibility of the statement itself. Some questions being.

What credibility does Mr. Evans have to his word now? Did anyone see a pinky swear? No, well then if the assumption is he is saying that just so the markets can hear it, then what are the negative repercussions if the Fed does in fact have to raise interest rates before 2016?

If this trying to deflect the eventual rise of interest rates, what is the importance of rising rates in relation to the stability in the markets? Would keeping them so low have an equally detrimental effect? And finally, Why wouldn’t the newly appointed Fed chairman Janet Yellen not use this opportunity to come out and make this statement? Wouldn’t such a statement in the face of crisis assert her new position as the head of the Federal Reserve.

35 years of experience offered to you free of charge

Part 1

Why I Wrote Win-Win

Having spent more than 35 years deep in the trenches of developing cross-sector partnerships and cause marketing campaigns with the nonprofit, for-profit, education and government sectors, I have learned what works and what doesn’t. I have developed partnerships – from a local two-person art program, a three-county children’s magazine, regional and national campaigns for Fortune 500 corporations, to cause marketing for an international sports organization, and all sizes and variations in between. I have experienced people in all types of organizations working together. And through it, all I have developed a step-by-step, proven process to planning and implementing successful cross-sector partnerships.

Beginning with my first job at Cedar Point, the world’s largest pure amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, where I developed a relationship with the state-sponsored Ohio Travel Council, I discovered the many benefits of bringing different sectors together in a mutually rewarding relationship. A few years later, I was hired by Marriott Corporation as Public Affairs Manager and given the task (at age 25) to design the opening promotion of its largest project in history: the family entertainment center Marriott’s Great America in Santa Clara, California. It was here where I conceived and directed my first comprehensive cross-sector partnership campaign, which I define as a partnership between two or more partners from the nonprofit, for-profit, education and government sectors, with the March of Dimes. This campaign raised $2.5 million (and in 1976 that was a lot of money!), 40% more than ever been raised by the March of Dimes Chapters West.

Through the challenges, opportunities and understanding gained through this relationship, the main theme of my career was set: cross-sector partnerships provide more benefit to all the partners than each could have ever accomplished alone.

From those early experiences and beyond, in my work as Public Relations Director of the United States Olympic Committee, to the founding of The William Bentley Agency, an integrated public relations/marketing agency, to the honor of serving as director of marketing & communications for the American Red Cross (San Francisco) Bay Area chapter, to my current role as Founder/CEO of Bruce W. Burtch, Inc., a cross-sector partnership consulting and training firm, each role and relationship along this path have created a foundation of knowledge that I wanted to share.

I wrote this guidebook because I have seen thousands of organizations from all sectors struggling through the recent economic times. I have seen and still see a lot of pain and a need for help and real answers. Yet I know from experience that there is an extraordinary amount of opportunity lying in wait for the right combination of partners, on any issue, in any sector, in any small town or metropolitan city, in any corner of the world. Cross-sector partnerships can be extraordinarily successful when these partners join together for their individual and mutual success, while focusing on creating benefit for the greater good.

Win-Win for the Greater Good is a guidebook, not an overview, not a nice collection of stories. My goal is to take years of experience in developing partnerships between all sectors and provide you with the blueprint, the materials and the tools that will guide you in developing highly successful, highly profitable cross-sector partnerships. Here you will find information from the very basic to more challenging concepts. Each reader comes to this guidebook with different experiences and different levels of expertise.

In 1978, I was asked by the president of a large foundation what I wanted to do with my life, and almost without thinking I said, “I want to do well by doing good”. He leaned back in his chair, laughed heartedly and replied, “I’ve never seen anybody do that before.” That very phrase to “do well by doing good” has been my personal mantra and foundation of my work from that minute forward. From the bottom of my heart I believe that doing good is the necessary prerequisite for doing well. Doing good benefits everything you do and everything you are. Doing good and doing well can best be accomplished through win-win partnerships.

The 7 benefits of video blogging

A Video Blog, also known as a “vlog” is a clever way to increase brand awareness, gain a greater following and most importantly, generate additional business. If vlogging is not yet a part of your digital marketing strategy, it’s time to jump on the video blogging wagon.

The 7 benefits of Video Blogging:

1. Good for your SEO strategy.

YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. That means potential customers are more likely to search for a service, product or information on YouTube, than they are on Yahoo or Bing. See more from this awesome infographic. When you post a video, and somebody is searching for that subject, it will likely show up in a search engine if you have optimized it correctly. SEO quick tip: You can embed your video on your website and transcribe it increasing your chances to include the important keywords mentioned in the video.

2. Develops trust.

When a follower watches you in a video, he begins to feel like he knows you, delivering a sense of trust. People by nature are more inclined to use a company for business when they are able to put a face to a name. Even more so, if they already know how you talk and have seen you “in action”.

3. 2 minutes provides concise, quick information.

As a general rule, savvy marketers know to keep videos under the 2 minute mark, as to not lose the attention of the viewer. People are more likely to click on a video blog over a written one because it requires less effort to watch than it does to read, while still delivering the same results.

4. People are visual.

People prefer to see something visually over reading content (which forces them to use their imagination). By providing the visual stimulation, you require viewers to do one less thing.

5. Videos generate more shares than any other type of posts.

If you want something to go viral, a video blog is the key. Currently, the most shared and “liked” content on Facebook is videos followed by pictures followed by articles.

6. Excellent for How-Tos or tutorials.

Again, since people learn best visually, videos are a great platform to teach your customers something new. Video how-to’s give your viewers the chance to see exactly how something is done and to pause or rewind when needed.

7. Generate income from your videos on YouTube.

YouTube allows you to monetize your videos by permitting YouTube to place ads in the video. Ads are always content appropriate and if you generate high viewership, you can make anywhere from $0.01 to $2.00 per 1000 hits from YouTube!

Bill Gates Quotes – The Best Quotes for Life and Business

Bill Gates is one of the most well known and sought after entrepreneurs in the world. He’s been at the top of the Forbes’ Richest People in the World list for many decades now. As such a high profile individual, entrepreneurs and now philanthropist, it’s no wonder why so many people are searching for “Bill Gates Quotes” on the internet.

Seeking out quotes from your favorite celebrities, athletes and individuals around the world is a great way to get inspired and put you back on the right path in whatever it is you are trying to achieve.

I’ve written a 1,200 word post on my favorite Bill Gates quotes and what they’ve meant personally for myself and my business. Now it’s time for you to look through some of Bill’s greatest quotes below and see which of them are your favorites and apply to your currently lifestyle and business.

15 BILL GATES QUOTES TO GET YOU MOTIVATED

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
– Bill Gates

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
– Bill Gates

“If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”
– Bill Gates

“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.”
– Bill Gates

“I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act.”
– Bill Gates

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
– Bill Gates

“I’m a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they’re interested in.”
– Bill Gates

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
– Bill Gates

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
– Bill Gates

“I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.”
– Bill Gates

“Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There’s a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.”
– Bill Gates

“If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 MPG.”
– Bill Gates

“At Microsoft there are lots of brilliant ideas but the image is that they all come from the top – I’m afraid that’s not quite right.”
– Bill Gates

“I think it’s fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we’ve ever created. They’re tools of communication, they’re tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user.”
– Bill Gates

“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”
– Bill Gates

Marketing Diversity – Your Best Mаrkеting Aррrоасh fоr Small Buѕinеѕѕ Success

I оftеn am аѕkеd аbоut thе bеѕt approach to marketing a ѕmаll or еvеn a nеw business. There are ѕо many tооlѕ tо сhооѕе frоm аnd thе аnѕwеr tо thiѕ ԛuеѕtiоn саn оftеn bе difficult. Whаt I hаvе соmе tо rеаlizе, however, iѕ thаt the bеѕt аррrоасh tо small business marketing iѕ оnе that iѕ аррrорriаtеlу divеrѕifiеd. Let’s firѕt cover some оf the basic аѕресtѕ of marketing аnd you will quickly ѕее hоw diversity саn bе an essential ally in thе growth оf уоur business.

Mаrkеting can bе еxрlаinеd in many wауѕ аnd оnе thаt I rеаllу likе is a method саllеd thе thrее M’ѕ. These M’ѕ ѕtаnd for mаrkеt, mеѕѕаgе, and mеdiа. Twо оf thеѕе three M’ѕ rеlаtе directly tо a divеrѕifiеd аррrоасh to mаrkеting.

When соming uр with аn аррrоасh tо marketing, a small buѕinеѕѕ muѕt absolutely соnѕidеr whо thеir products оr ѕеrviсеѕ are bеing mаrkеtеd tо. This iѕ thе so-called tаrgеt market аnd, in mоѕt саѕеѕ, iѕ a раrt of mаrkеting thаt bеnеfitѕ from divеrѕitу. Mаnу small buѕinеѕѕеѕ mаkе the miѕtаkе оf either mаrkеting tо too tight оf a niсhе or trying tо арреаl to tоо brоаd of a customer bаѕе. In thе first case, diversity iѕ lacking аnd, in thе lаttеr, divеrѕitу iѕ taken tоо fаr. I’m a big bеliеvеr in bаlаnсе аnd ѕоmеwhеrе bеtwееn these twо extremes is ideal for уоur small buѕinеѕѕ.

To рrореrlу dеtеrminе уоur tаrgеt market аnd make ѕurе it iѕ рrореrlу diversified, ask уоurѕеlf whо уоur ideal сliеntѕ would be. Thе answer may роint to a ѕmаllеr niсhе оf соnѕumеrѕ but consider also thе реriрhеrаl mаrkеtѕ who may аlѕо benefit frоm уоur products оr ѕеrviсеѕ. As an еxаmрlе, consider a rеаl estate professional whо wаntѕ tо specialize in gоlf соurѕе home ѕаlеѕ. Sure, thеу mау look at retirees аѕ thеir рrimаrу market but thеу might аlѕо consider уоungеr сliеntѕ looking for vасаtiоn homes or invеѕtоrѕ whо ѕееk vacation hоmеѕ that thеу саn rеnt оut. This divеrѕifiеd lооk at a tаrgеt market can introduce many potential сliеntѕ fоr this ѕmаll buѕinеѕѕ оwnеr.

Thе one aspect where I fееl divеrѕitу iѕ оftеn оvеruѕеd in thе mаrkеting message. Tоо mаnу ѕmаll buѕinеѕѕ owners trу tо саtеr their marketing message tо specific types оf сliеntѕ аnd thiѕ can сrеаtе confusion if it iѕ taken tоо fаr. For еxаmрlе, in thе example above, thе rеаl estate рrоfеѕѕiоnаl might bе better served tо саtеr hiѕ оr hеr mеѕѕаgе tо аll of thе tаrgеt niсhеѕ, rаthеr than trying tо deliver a diffеrеnt mеѕѕаgе to each niche. Thiѕ саn hеlр dеvеlор a business reputation as bеing аdарtаblе and аblе tо wоrk with a vаriеtу оf сliеntѕ, a huge рluѕ fоr many tуреѕ of service rеlаtеd businesses.

Lаѕt, wе hаvе thе iѕѕuе оf thе marketing mеdiа. Thiѕ iѕ simply thе means by whiсh the mеѕѕаgе iѕ dеlivеrеd. Thеrе are соuntlеѕѕ wауѕ tо do this аnd mу bеѕt suggestion here iѕ to nоt оvеrlу rеlу uроn one раrtiсulаr form of media. Your tаrgеt mаrkеt hаvе a number of ways they саn learn аbоut уоu аnd it iѕ critical tо rеасh thеm in ѕеvеrаl wауѕ. Fоr еxаmрlе, a wеbѕitе, coupled with nеwѕрареr ads аnd аn оссаѕiоnаl rаdiо ѕроt is fаr mоrе еffесtivе thаn juѕt running аdѕ alone. It’s nоt rосkеt ѕсiеnсе but divеrѕitу here is extremely important, еvеn if оnе fоrm оf media ѕtаndѕ аbоvе thе others.

Whеn building аnd refining уоur оwn marketing рlаn, rеmеmbеr thаt divеrѕitу is appropriate fоr mоrе thаn оnе aspect оf mаrkеting аnd can рrоvidе a trеmеndоuѕ аdvаntаgе in attracting сuѕtоmеrѕ оr сliеntѕ that fuel thе grоwth of уоur small business.

Advertising Inflatables Can Be A Great Marketing Tool

If you are into business, you should know that you cannot survive the market without marketing your products and services. These days nothing really sells without proper marketing. If your target customers are not aware of your products and services, they will never know of their existence; hence, won’t bother to buy them. But, given the tight marketing budgets that businesses mostly have, opting for advertising inflatables can be a great way to publicize your products and services at cheap and affordable rates.

Inflatable ads can get you success across various business areas. It does not really matter if you have a B2B or B2C business, or whether you want to market your products and services, advertising inflatables can be a useful choice for you. This type of advertising has achieved success across all businesses, from hardware catering services to suppliers, and office renovators and car dealers. No matter what line of business you are in, publicizing with inflatables can do a great job at marketing your business.

Advertising through inflatables have several options to choose from, depending on your unique requirements and kind of promotion that you want. You can choose between tents, golf packages, rooftop balloons, inflatable costumes, giant inflatables, etc.

You can also order for customized inflatable ads, which sets you quite apart from the crowd. After all, the more creative you are, the more attention you are likely to grab.

With advertising inflatables you can send the message that you want, across to your target audience or invite them for a particular event or simply market your products and services through attractive inflatable ads. And the best part is that you can do all these without having to pay much. So, if you are a small company you can easily afford to publicize your budding brand by the means of this type of advertisement. Doing so can help you save you quite a lot of money that you can use in some other aspect of your business, helping it become more and more prosperous.

However, having told you that inflatable ads are a great way of marketing your business, you need to understand that you have to design your ads in a way, so that they do not get lost amidst the other ads. This means its design has to be pleasantly different. Try to use your colors intelligently, so that grabbing eyeballs is easy.

Once you are done with designing your ad, the next important step is to place it at the right places. You should place it tactfully, so that it more people see it. Place them in crowded places like shopping malls, parks, business events, trade fairs, etc., and also make sure that over shadows by other ads. So, your job does not end with getting an attractive ad made by finding out a strategic place for its placement.

Advertising inflatables are one of the most effective of all outdoor advertisement tools. Get hold of a service provider, who can make great ads and then you make the best use of them.

Corporate Flags Yorkshire Are to Be Seen All Over the Place

The power of advertising is something which no business can afford to overlook, no matter if it a small mom and pop corner shop or a large scale corporation. This advertising can take many forms depending the budget and the requirements of the business but the use of things such as flags, banners and signs are an excellent first step. This is why you will find that for large companies corporate banners and corporate flags are to be seen everywhere, as well as other advertising tactics.
In promoting products, services, and even people, it is important to be able to catch the attention of the public. As such, there are various forms of advertisement that have been used by many marketing and promotions agencies. These forms include television, radio, and local newspaper advertising. However, there are also other forms of advertising that have become popular for the past years. The use of billboards for advertising has become quite effective in the majority of products and services that these billboards advertise. Moreover, flyers and brochures are also effective forms of advertisement. Lately, the most recent addition to advertising is corporate flags.

Corporate flags Leeds, and elsewhere, are actually flags that promote products, services, places, and even people. The corporate flag become the latest trend in advertisement, and are in fact preferred by most companies, entities, and advertising agencies. The corporate flag Leeds, the corporate flag Yorkshire, or the corporate flag anywhere else in the county is a cheaper alternative form of advertising when compared to other forms.
One of the advantages of such flags is its eye-catching appearance. Most of the promotional flags are so designed in such a way that people will actually take a glance on it. Moreover, the colours of these flags which can be of any hue are very attractive as well. Finally, promotion flags are pleasant to look at, most especially since these flags move at the slightest breeze.
In any company event, the banner that any company uses symbolizes the corporation itself. It may be seen all over the country. Promoting managers are promoting and giving them away so as to market the corporation. Custom banners may be used as an honest promoting tool. It will embrace photos and words that facilitate to speak while not speech something. The banner the corporate has is additionally important. The symbols that are utilized in them are quite essential as a result of simply because of them folks tend to form their opinion.
Corporate flags Yorkshire, or anywhere else in the country, are great not only for the advertising benefits which they undoubtedly provide, but also from the point of view of image. There is something attractive and welcoming about seeing flags flying on the breeze and the sight of familiar logs and signs can help a person feel secure. I know that there is a certain building which I often drive past and that when I see the corporate banners, I know that I am very near to reaching home.

Should You Use an Ad Server on Your Website?

A recent article in the Huffington Post stating that more and more recent college graduates are forgoing the traditional “brick-and-mortar” employment positions, opting instead to head immediately into freelancing. As both new and experienced webmasters, bloggers, and commercial online publishers begin to depend on the profitability of their online properties as their main source of income, selecting the most efficient ad server is a very critical decision and can often be very confusing.

Evaluate your Advertising Needs
An important first step before selecting your ad server provider will be to first determine your specific and unique short-term and long-term advertising goals. Every website is different. Every website has a different targeted demographic. Switching between providers in the future can be a challenging and time consuming process. Therefore, it is important to sit down and take the extra time to determine the precise features, preferences, requirements that you will need in order to properly and efficiently manage and display your ads on your web pages. Consider your own individual strengths and weaknesses, including your growth projections for the business, your own level of technical expertise, and of course your financial budget.

Advertising Management
Each type of ad serving network will operate differently. Some are very intuitive and simple while others can be very technically challenging. Depending on your level of experience, you will want to choose the best option that is user-friendly and will provide you with the abilities to operate quickly. Although speed and efficiency is a primary concern, you also want to look for an ad server that supports multiple different types of formats, ad types, and templates while providing you with already built-in management capabilities. One thing about the Internet is that online market is always changing. For example, the rise of video marketing has increased significantly in recent years. Plan ahead and choose the system that is going to offer the most versatility in the long haul.

Keep the Advertisers and Readers in Mind
The companies that will be advertising on your webpages will want their ads to reach the right people at just the right time. Therefore, you not only need to take into account your own individual preferences but also those of your future advertisers and visitors to your site. Readers will want to read relevant ads, and advertisers want their ads to be read. It is a two-way street. You need to make both parties happy. Consider if your ad serving solution provides you with the ability to serve ads from third-party ad networks. Is there a limit to the number or types of third-party ads? Are there any delays involved with these types of ads?

Free vs. Paid
Cost is always a valid consideration, especially for the novice online entrepreneur. Be aware of some of the pitfalls of using a free ad server rather than an affordable paid alternative. In the long term, the free varieties may not prove to be the best option. Very often, these free solutions do not provide customer service or technical support. Instead, you are offered user-participation forums where you can post questions and get advice. However, it can be difficult to determine whether or not the guidance that you receive is actually accurate. The free ad serving networks will typically come with far fewer features, as well.

Industry watchdog calls for national ban on alcohol ads on public transportation

Alcohol industry watchdog, Alcohol Justice, released a national study Oct. 25, assessing the impact of alcohol advertising on youth, concluding young people are being barraged on the way to school or around town. Actor and activist Kurtwood Smith, known for roles in “That 70’s Show” and “Dead Poets Society,” led the event, which called on state legislators and Congress to pass legislation that requires transit agencies to ban alcohol advertising on transit property as a precondition of transportation funding.

According to the American Public Transportation Association, more than 20 percent of public transportation users nationwide are under age 25. In large metropolitan areas like Chicago and New York, many kids use buses and trains to get to and from school. These children are disproportionately minorities and/or from economically challenged neighborhoods.

“Exposure to alcohol ads influences youth to start drinking earlier and to drink more,” according to Alcohol Justice spokesperson Michael Scippa. He says the enticement can lead to alcohol-related problems later in life, including the disease of alcoholism. “Alcohol advertising bans can significantly reduce youth exposure to alcohol advertising.”

In 2012, advertising on transit vehicles and transit stations comprised 17 percent of the more than $1 billion alcohol companies spent on ads outside of the household, according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.

The report, “These Buses Don’t Stop For Children: Alcohol Advertising on Public Transit,” describes the alcohol advertising policies of 32 major metropolitan transit agencies. Eighteen ban alcohol advertising; Chicago, New York and Atlanta were tagged as “lagging behind agencies that protect youth from alcohol ads.” The report noted most major cities continue to allow alcohol advertising on transit-related benches and bus or train shelters even if a transit policy banning alcohol ads is in place.

Limits on alcohol advertising can significantly reduce alcohol-related harm according to the speakers at the Los Angeles press conference announcing the study. A 28 percent reduction in alcohol advertising could reduce underage alcohol consumption and binge drinking by at least a percentage point each, while a complete ban on alcohol advertising could reduce the number of deaths from harmful drinking by 7,609 deaths, claims Alcohol Justice.

The alcohol industry claims it is not targeting minors or encouraging underage drinking. Trade associations for beer, wine and spirits have self-regulatory guidelines in place for alcohol advertising. The Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. (DISCUS) Advertising Code of Ethics is one such self-policed directive. Its rules associated with schools address stationary advertising, which may not be located within 500 feet of elementary and secondary schools or places of worship.

In 2012, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) reversed its ad policy, citing economic reasons, and approved an ordinance that allows for alcohol advertising to be placed on trains and in stations for the first time in 15 years. CTA President Forrest Claypool says the ban is still in place on “L” stations that serve a high number of students and on all CTA buses. The bus stops, however, are city property and allow alcohol ads. Alcohol Justice’s recommendations include alcohol ad bans extended to all government-owned transit-related properties.

The CTA expects to generate $3.2 million in additional advertising revenue from alcohol ads – 0.2 percent of the agency’s annual operating budget. Scippa says, “It makes no sense for public transit agencies or cities to allow alcohol advertising that recoups less than a percent of their operating revenues while governments in the U.S. bear the burden of over $90 billion in annual costs from alcohol-related harm.”