From the Ask Joe File a question from a viewer about an advertising campaign at the city of Reno. The viewer asked about a banner up at Wingfield Park downtown. She wants to know how much it cost and whether its appropriate to feature members of the city council on an advertisement for the city?
We took at a look at the banner ourselves. It does feature the mayor and all of the council members smiling and having fun. The point of the ad is to encourage people to get out and experience Reno's many special events from Artown to the Reno River Festival.
I checked with Michele Anderson at city hall. The photo shoot for the mayor and council members cost about $1,500.00. That money came out of the communications office budget and did not have to be approved by the city council.
Anderson says if it were election season they would not do an advertisement like this. The concern being that city funds are being used to promote elected officials and help get them re-elected. But right now in the off season, Anderson says there are no rules which restrict the city from using the council members images in an advertisement like that. She says it helps build a friendly image for the city by using faces that people recognize from city hall.