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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With a $48 million budget shortfall for the city, one councilman has an idea that he says will help the deficit: putting advertisements on fire trucks.
Andrea Fujii explains one organization wants to have the first ad with a provocative campaign.
The bright red on the side of fire engines means dollar signs to City Councilman William Pete Welch.
“These are out of the box times and you need out of the box approaches in order to create additional revenue,” Welch said.
The mayor’s said up to three fire companies may close due to the budget shortfall, so Welch is proposing legislation that would allow the fire department to put ads on their trucks, generating revenue that could help keep the companies open.
PETA—People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals—is jumping on the opportunity. They want an ad to make its debut on a city fire truck. In a letter to Welch, they said, in part, “Our…advertisement featuring a sexy woman showing off her vegan physique will drive Baltimore residents to PETA’s heart-healthy vegan recipes that will keep them firing on all cylinders.”
People we spoke to like the idea, but not necessarily the ad.
“I wouldn’t,” said one.
“It wouldn’t really bother me but I think it’s misleading for the message they want to get across,” said another.
But the councilman says his proposal is getting a positive response.
“I’ve had emails from firefighters applauding me for my proactive approach and those I’ve received have been in favor,” he said.
Welch proposed the legislation at Monday’s council meeting. He hasn’t commented on the PETA ad.