The purpose of this policy is to establish uniform guidelines for the sale of advertising space and sponsorship opportunities by Blacksburg Transit (BT). The policy specifically addresses advertising on route vehicles, in BT facilities, in BT publications and through electronic means, as well as sponsorship programs. Specific advertising program and product details (pricing and specifications) can be found on our website, ridebt.org. BT reserves the right, with the approval of Blacksburg Transit's Director, to revise, delete, or add specific products and sponsorship programs.
In keeping with its function as a provider of public transportation, BT does not intend its acceptance of transit advertising to create forums for discourse and debate. BT's sole purpose and intent is to accept advertising as an additional means of generating revenue to support its transit operations. For that reason, BT retains strict control over the nature of the advertisements it accepts.
Advertising space will be used for commercial purposes only, i.e., the payment of money in exchange for a commodity, service or event subject to certain exceptions for governmental activities set out below. All advertisements must conform to the following rules.
1. Advertisements should reflect the best interests of the Town of Blacksburg (Town) and Blacksburg Transit (BT). Accordingly, Blacksburg Transit will not accept offensive or disparaging advertising that may (i) reasonably embarrass or disturb BT employees or riders or (ii) otherwise harm the reputation or image of BT.
2. BT will not accept advertisements that are obscene, libelous, or fraudulent. Blacksburg Transit will consult with the Town Attorney before making this determination.
3. BT will not accept advertisements for tobacco or tobacco related products, including electronic cigarettes or similar products.
4. BT will not accept advertisements for alcohol or alcohol related products.
5. BT will not accept advertisements for political campaigns, political issues or issue advocacy.
6. BT will not accept advertisements for gambling or wagering activities.
7. BT will not accept advertisements for cannabis or CBD related products.
8. BT will not accept advertising that depicts sexually explicit, nude, obscene and/or pornographic statements or images.
9. BT will not accept advertising that portrays graphic violence.
10. BT reserves the right to limit an individual advertiser to a total of twelve (12) exterior signs per lease period.
11. Advertisements must respect the intellectual property of others. Advertisers and their agencies, with the exception of the Commonwealth of Virginia and its agencies, will indemnify and hold harmless the Town of Blacksburg, its officers and agents against all expenses and losses resulting from the contents of an advertisement, including claims for (i) trademark or copyright infringement or (ii) plagiarism.
The Town and BT reserve the right to use all advertising types, and their individual components, to (i) promote town activities, initiatives, and job recruitment, and to (ii) permit other local governments and state agencies to promote their activities, initiatives and job recruitment.
BT reserves the right to suspend, modify or revoke the application of any of the standards in this policy as it deems necessary to comply with legal mandates, to accommodate its primary transportation function, or to fulfill the goals and objectives identified above. All of the provisions in this policy shall be deemed severable.
Approvals of Advertising
All potential advertising must be reviewed and approved prior to production by the BT Communications and Customer Support (CCS) Manager and CCS Coordinator. In the absence of the BT CCS Manager and CCS Coordinator, the Transit Director will designate a staff person to handle this task.
The entity submitting the paid advertisement may appeal to the Transit Director, within ten (10) working days, the BT CCS Manager and CCS Coordinator's decision on the conformity of any proposed advertisement to the requirements of this policy. The Transit Director will have ten (10) working days to review and respond to any appeals. The entity submitting the proposed advertisement may then appeal in writing, within ten (10) working days, the Transit Director's decision to the Town Manager. The Town Manager will review and respond to written appeals within (30) working days.
BT will maintain advertising opportunities on its website with current pricing. BT, with prior approval from the Transit Director, reserves the right to adjust pricing for advertising properties and sponsorship programs at any time. Production and installation is the customer's responsibility and not included in BT's advertising rates.
It is the advertiser's responsibility to deliver or reclaim materials in a timely fashion. Unclaimed materials may be disposed of at BT's discretion.
BT offers discounted advertising rates ranging from 7.5 percent to a maximum of 25 percent based on term, quantity and value. Customers are only eligible for one discount at a time.
Contractual Elements and Payment
Advertisers will be required to sign an advertising contract specifying the number of advertisements and length of time permitted. A commitment to purchase or lease advertising products or sponsorship programs is not considered final until an executed contract is received by BT. No advertising will be placed or sponsorship considered "sold" until an executed contract is received by BT.
"First Right of Refusal" is available for specific advertising products and sponsorship programs. Please refer to the specific advertising product or sponsorship program in our rate brochure.
Scheduling of the utilization of the available space will be left to the discretion of the BT CCS Manager and CCS Coordinator. Blacksburg Transit is unable to guarantee advertising space on specific routes.
Disclaimer of Endorsement
BT's acceptance of an advertisement does not constitute express or implied endorsement of the content or message of the advertisement, including any person, organization, products, services, information or viewpoints contained therein, or of the advertisement sponsor itself. This endorsement disclaimer extends to and includes content that may be found via internet addresses, quick response (QR) codes, and telephone numbers that may appear in posted ads and that direct viewers to external sources of information.
Updated and effective 2/5/2024.