Kiddie Marketers Beware

October 8, 2009

If you think you are going to make money putting ads into a school room or onto a school bus, ask these men.


From Jim Metrock:

Ever since BusRadio ceased operations on September 28 they have said a press release would be soon issued.

It seems to me, the only reason they would put a release out is to say they have sold the business to another company.

Obligation continues to put emails out to school boards across the country telling them about the critical Federal Communications Commission report on BusRadio and the overwhelming public opposition to BusRadio uncovered by the FCC study. We want to salt the earth around schools to keep out current and future kiddie marketers like BusRadio.

BusRadio’s founders played on the desire of transportation directors to make their buses even safer than they are. BusRadio wrapped themselves in the "cloak of safety" so the marketing company could slip into schools. It was an obvious smokescreen, but it worked, at least in a few school districts. BusRadio has taught us marketers will stop at nothing to squeeze ad revenue out of a captive audience of schoolchildren.

BusRadio was opposed by many bus drivers and others who worked in school transportation departments. Many could not express themselves for fear of being fired by the pro-BusRadio director of transportation – the man or woman who usually recommended BusRadio in the first place.

The public knows of Danny Kenny and Les Lily in Colorado. These are two courageous school bus drivers that spoke up aout the problems with BusRadio. They stood up for the best interest of not only the bus riders on their bus and in their district, but for young bus riders all across the country. These drivers had to get facts out in Colorado to counter the misleading information being put out by the local sales rep Jay Stickney and the national sales manager Dave Briere. In the end, Kenny and Lilly won, because they made common sense and they clearly saw the exploitation of BusRadio. Bravo to them and the others who worked silently to derail these kiddie marketers.

There is another person out West that deserves a lot of thanks. She knew school buses and their riders – backwards and forwards. She had been a driver for many years and had decades of experience in school transportation administration. She hated BusRadio. She supplied Obligation with incredibly useful information on how BusRadio tries to intimidate drivers into playing their programming. The local BusRadio sales rep would send her boss each week an Excel spreadsheet that listed every bus number on a row. Rows for buses that were not playing BusRadio at all or very little were highlighted in bright red. These buses and their drivers were being branded by BusRadio as "non-compliant." These drivers had to have a talking to. This nauseated this veteran transportation employee. She, along with Kenny and Lilly and other unnamed people, helped Obligation understand what was going on behind the scenes with BusRadio. BusRadio would still be playing if it wasn’t for them.

BusRadio would have been mortified to have known what we knew about them. Emails from BusRadio employees were forwarded to us from around the country. It was shocking to read their words when they thought they were only talking to a pro-BusRadio director of transportation.

This fall Obligation had already launched several efforts to remove BusRadio. We had received positive feedback from parents and school board members in twenty two districts in California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Texas. On top of that it was our belief that BusRadio was on the verge of losing their largest bus fleet which was the Cobb County school district in Georgia.

The FCC report documented the public’s disgust with BusRadio. If you are an investor and you are thinking of buying BusRadio’s smoldering marketing empire, do your self a favor and spend an hour randomly reading the posted public comments about BusRadio on the FCC web site.