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Council Passes Bill To Allow Advertising In City

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- After years of discussion, altering and meetings, a bill was passed Tuesday to allow advertising in the City of Pittsburgh.

Councilman Bill Peduto says billboards are out of the question, but ads on some city vehicles, the city's website and other city spaces are game.

Peduto says basically they'll be using the assets the city already has to make additional money.

"Our council chambers could be used for weddings. Our telephone poles could have wireless signals on it so that your cell phone can be able to pick up - when you're in Shadyside - the different sales going on," Peduto said. "There are so many different ways that we can use public assets to raise revenue that would never have a need for any signage or anything glaring."

The least noticeable change under the Market Based Revenue Opportunity Program and something that could happen first, according to Peduto, will be a bid for vending machines.

City Council says it could bring in a couple hundred thousand dollars alone.

While some ads will be more visual, like an advertisement on a Public Works vehicle, others will be simple, like on the city's website.

"You could think of our website, and if someone clicks on Bloomfield - wouldn't it be nice if we could provide the restaurants of Bloomfield a way to advertise on the website, or the hotels in Oakland an opportunity," Peduto said before the vote Tuesday. "But, at the same time, it doesn't have an unsightly characteristic."

There also is a Design Review Committee already in place. That committee will oversee any major advertisements.

The M-BRO (Market Based Revenue Opportunity), as it's being called by Council, is anticipated and expected to bring in between $1 and $2 million annually, according to Councilman Peduto.

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