Idea of the City selling ads at the beaches surfaces, again

by on June 29, 2011 · 4 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

UPDATE: June 29: Councilmember Kevin Faulconer questioned how money raised from these ad revenues will be spent. This morning he declared that in order for him to support the idea of selling ads at the beach, City policy on directing such monies into the General Fund would have to change. (Go to San Diego Reader for more info.)

By Mike Lee / San Diego U-T / June 29, 2011

San Diego once again is looking at selling some prime beachfront property — space on signs in Mission Beach Park — to raise money for city coffers.   A similar idea surfaced last July, then fizzled despite interest by the City Council. It’s back in front of a council committee Wednesday morning, adding another chapter in a long-running debate about corporate America creeping into natural settings.

Open-space advocates are leery about saturating forests, deserts and seashores with company logos that threaten a basic attraction of such areas. But some government officials and parks supporters say tasteful signs are OK and the accompanying cash is necessary to keep those places open.

“This is kind of happening quietly and I think fairly successfully at a lot of different levels in parks as the need becomes greater,” said Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the California State Parks Foundation, a nonprofit advocacy group. “I think people’s fears are largely misplaced. There are not going to be billboarded parks in any way, shape or form.”

For the remainder of this article, please go here.

Sponsor options

City beach sponsors may get “logo recognition” in several ways:

• Signs on permanent and/or seasonal lifeguard stations and surrounding towers listing current weather, surf, tide and other conditions

• Signs on trash or recycling bins encouraging recycling and discouraging littering

• Signs on existing poles listing beach regulations

• Signs in other spots such as poles, walls and benches with safety or public service messages

• Opportunities to sponsor city educational programs which could include product display or materials (i.e. recycling programs, water conservation programs)

San Diego beaches

A proposal to expand corporate sponsorships in San Diego would start at Mission Beach and be expanded to others if it’s successful.

Mission Beach — 3,752,342 annual visitors

South Pacific Beach — 3,620,700

La Jolla Shores — 3,603,270

Other beaches — 3,000,000

Ocean Beach — 1,901,799

Children’s Pool (Casa Beach) — 1,788,100

South Mission Beach — 1,786,500

North Pacific Beach — 1,781,510

La Jolla Cove — 1,437,374

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

editordude June 29, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Update: Kevin Faulconer just this morning (6/29) said he is opposed to this ad idea at the beach unless the City changes where it directs the money raised.


Christopher Moore June 29, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Just like every stadium and racetrack is now named after a corporate sponsor, soon all the beaches will be too.

Mark my words, in ten years we’ll be living in “OB Tampons” Beach (our natural sponsor.)


annagrace June 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm

We should be very concerned about both Faulconer’s and Lightner’s desire to earmark revenue from ads for exclusive use in their respective beach communities. Those monies should go into the general fund and it is a dangerous argument to say otherwise.

Earmarking gives no flexibility when there is an economic crisis as we have now. Look at the impact of the guaranteed park funding to Mission Bay which has reduced the general funds by millions of dollars.

Should we then start charging parking at Balboa Park and earmark those funds only for Balboa Park? Or maybe the gateway to Balboa Park should be the iconic Golden Arches.

Not only does earmarking reduce fiscal flexibility, it can lead to tiered standards of services and facilities based upon corporate or philanthropic investment or the lack of that investment. The quality of our public facilities and services must not be compromised by the ability of one community service or facility’s ability to attract corporate advertisers.

Ads at the beach or at any of our public parks and public buildings suck. They are corporate graffiti. We are being nickled, dimed and suckered to death.


dave rice June 29, 2011 at 9:04 pm

So could community members make a group buy and get a discounted ad rate on a nonsensical message like the link below?


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