PR Drives Real Message in School Bus Ad Campaign

Late last year Kathy Kiely, vice president of marketing for
Bertucci's restaurant, a Boston-based Italian food chain, was
watching a local news broadcast and saw a piece on the dire
financial straits faced by the Braintree, Mass., school system
(grades K-12). Braintree school officials, looking at a $3.8
million debt, had to lay off 50 teachers and 20 staffers and were
now calling on community members to offset the debt by purchasing
ad space on school bus exteriors. (The Massachusetts State
Legislature passed a bill in May 2002 allowing advertising on
school buses.) The debt had gotten so bad that Braintree had
started to charge students in grades 7-12 $180 a year to ride the
bus to and from school.