Advertising is Reported to Cure the Common Cold

Paul Bowers
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Paul Bowers, Publisher: Airport Improvement Magazine

Well, we may not go that far; but it has recently been reported that Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport may soon be swapping advertising where art is now displayed. Why, you may ask? Money. Art is taking up prime real estate that could be used to help generate much-needed revenue.

Makes sense to me. My only response would be, "What took so long?"

Like it or not, advertising has been paying the bills for a long time. From the Nike swoosh on sports teams' clothing to the corporate logos at major league ballparks, advertising has been a way of life, and money, that supplements other sources of revenue.

We've had examples of advertising in our own industry for years. How long have billboards been in airport walkways? A couple of firms make their living selling advertising for airports. Advertisers have also been prominently displayed in airport publications and as sponsors of association events. Advertising is nothing new here.

The firms buying the advertising obviously wouldn't be shelling out millions of dollars if they didn't see value in these investments. Consumers have validated these investments by purchasing the products and services being advertised.

The whole advertising equation is not a matter of black and white, but of degrees. If consumers in our free market system find value to marketing messages attached to a boarding bridge, boarding pass, security bin or even the name of an airport, why should we turn a deaf ear to it? The challenge is in the degree - adding value by creating advertising that works for both the seller and purchaser. Prudent airport managers are always on the lookout for areas that have the right ingredients advertisers find so valuable.

We have all become used to the world of commercialism as it relates to marketing messages and media. If there is an airport passenger audience that responds and purchases products, why would we turn them away by not providing them the information they seek through advertising messages?

The evolutionary journey of airport management and operations travels through the lucrative financial benefits of marketing and advertising. Embrace it; it makes our futures brighter.

Publisher's Column

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