Ads on TSA security checkpoint bins legal?

Apparently TSA is allowing advertisement on the bins at security checkpoints and people have been spotting them some. Our question is: Is this even legal?
Here’s the thought. Those bins are government property and paid for by taxpayer money. Since when was anything that is taxpayer paid for, allowed advertisement? And not only that, if it is, then should the taxpayer get the profits from such commercializing of government property? It’s not like TSA is going to ask for less budget next year due to their advertising initiatives. Currently the pilot program is only asking for “equipment” provisions but it’s not going to be long before some management type tries to finesse some money from this.
This isn’t the same as tray ads, since that’s a commercial agreement as is allowed in many business mediums. But the government allowing advertising? Next thing you know, it’ll be okay to have police cars that were purchased by McDonald’s and federal buildings donated by Microsoft.
Via BoingBoing

  • Lexan

    It seems you did not comprehend the situation. Those who will be doing the advertising will pay for equipment and the right to advertise on the equipment. The advertising will only benefit the travelers in the form of more resources and WILL NOT cause the taxpayers anything. So to answer your question, yes it is 100% Legal.
    I do not agree with this decision because I think it will cause a distraction to security as well as trivializing the process and mission of TSA, but hey, I am just a TSO.

  • Lexan

    It seems you did not comprehend the situation. Those who will be doing the advertising will pay for equipment and the right to advertise on the equipment. The advertising will only benefit the travelers in the form of more resources and WILL NOT cause the taxpayers anything. So to answer your question, yes it is 100% Legal.
    I do not agree with this decision because I think it will cause a distraction to security as well as trivializing the process and mission of TSA, but hey, I am just a TSO.

  • So does this mean TSA is cutting back the budgets that pay for equipment? If not, where’s that money going? Taxpayers are paying for something since these things are budgeted.
    I doubt budget will be cut back if this goes forward. So do taxpayers pay for directly? No. Indirectly? Definitely.
    Also, is the equipment a direct purchase by the advertisers? If not, then who’s controlling the funding? TSA? If so, then this could lead to TSA taking a “fee” for processing or what not. Thus getting back into taxpayer hands. Either way, it sounds like a good idea that can go wrong very easily.
    If you think advertisement is “more resources” to travelers or buy that line, then the next question would be: have consumers ever loved marketing, especially ones shoved in their face? My gut response is “no” due to the big push in viral marketing.
    I also agree that it trivializes the process and mission of TSA which is to provide security to travelers, not make a commercial venture out of this. Whoever cooked this pilot up has friends in the advertising businesses. There’s no doubt about that since there’s no benefit here to anyone but them.

  • darkmoon

    So does this mean TSA is cutting back the budgets that pay for equipment? If not, where’s that money going? Taxpayers are paying for something since these things are budgeted.
    I doubt budget will be cut back if this goes forward. So do taxpayers pay for directly? No. Indirectly? Definitely.
    Also, is the equipment a direct purchase by the advertisers? If not, then who’s controlling the funding? TSA? If so, then this could lead to TSA taking a “fee” for processing or what not. Thus getting back into taxpayer hands. Either way, it sounds like a good idea that can go wrong very easily.
    If you think advertisement is “more resources” to travelers or buy that line, then the next question would be: have consumers ever loved marketing, especially ones shoved in their face? My gut response is “no” due to the big push in viral marketing.
    I also agree that it trivializes the process and mission of TSA which is to provide security to travelers, not make a commercial venture out of this. Whoever cooked this pilot up has friends in the advertising businesses. There’s no doubt about that since there’s no benefit here to anyone but them.