Brandywine mulls placing ads on websitePublished 7:56pm Monday, August 13, 2012
Should Brandywine Community Schools allow businesses to advertise on the district’s website?
Supt. John Jarpe and the Brandywine school board discussed the potential pros and cons of doing so during Monday’s regular meeting at the Bell Education Center.
Jarpe said a business representative from Alternative Revenue Development, of Troy, pitched the idea to himself and finance director Kathy Holy earlier this summer.
Jarpe told the board the district stands to gain around $5,000 in the first year for hosting what he described as nonobtrusive and safe online ads. That amount could go up in the future.
“There is no upfront cost to the school district,” Jarpe said. “I do like the fact that it’s unrestricted funds, and we could use these funds for general revenue.”
It would be a revenue sharing model with between 60 to 65 percent of the revenue going to the district, depending on the type of ad.
Jarpe said the district would have discretion over any ad that would be placed on the website and all ads would be free of content related to sex, tobacco, alcohol and religion.
Jarpe pointed out that Berrien Springs just signed on with Alternative Revenue Development to do website advertising, although the company is most popular with schools on the east side of the state.
“I’m certainly not ready to consider or recommend ads on our busses or a Nike swoosh on our uniforms or anything like that,” Jarpe said, “but I think this kind of thing with the website probably is not real overbearing or offensive.”
Board member Mike Shelton said it might make more sense for the district to cut out the middle man (Alternative Revenue Development) and advertise on its own.
Shelton also mentioned the company might make local businesses feel bad for not advertising on the district website.
“What they’ll probably say is ‘don’t you want to support your schools?’” Shelton said.
The board did not make a decision on the issue Monday. Jarpe said a decision would likely need to be made before the beginning of the school year.