All Bad Things Must Come To An End

October 1, 2009
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It looked too good to be true.

The numbers would make any Kiddie Marketer drool.

According to School Transportation News, 26 million elementary and secondary school children ride school buses daily in the U. S., twice a day.

When extracurricular activities are added, there are annually more than 10 billion individual student rides.

BusRadio was created to get commercials on those buses.

What’s a kid suppose to do? Don’t like our commercials? Then get off the bus and walk, or get your Mommy to drive you.

It looked real simple. Making money with school bus commercials was going be as easy as taking candy from a baby.

The founders of BusRadio, Michael Yanoff and Steven Shulman, however, forgot a few things.

They forgot about the public.

They forgot about parents.

They forgot that schools and the buses that go to and fro from those schools are paid for by taxpayers for the purpose of educating the community’s children.

They forgot that education is about critical thinking and advertising is not.

Only a relatively few school boards fell for their deal. The vast majority of school districts wanted no part of this instant controversy. When parents did find out BusRadio was playing on their child’s school bus, it was usually the end for BusRadio in that district.

Now the company has ceased operations. "Ceased"? does that mean they are just looking for some more venture capital money from some obscure investor who never reads the papers? Does it mean they are trying to sell the remains of their company to another company that believes they can do better than Yanoff and Shulman?

BusRadio’s contract with schools says that if they sell the business the school is not off the hook, the contract is still valid with the new owner.

Another company may think if they pick up BusRadio for a few pennies on the dollar they can make a go of it.

Wrong.

School buses are off limits to Kiddie Marketers – now more than ever. BusRadio in a strange way has done its part to make school buses safer from commercial interests.

There is a saying that I know to be true: Some people brighten a room when they enter, some when they leave. There are some companies that enrich the world when they start business, some when they cease. So long, Messrs. Yanoff and Shulman, we hardly knew ye.