'Not always free money': One critic warns against selling transit station naming rights

Published August 7, 2017


A story on NPR’s Here and Now about a proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sell the naming rights for transit stations in New York City interviews Mark Bartholomew, professor of law and the author of “Adcreep: The Case Against Modern Marketing.” “Once you make one of these deals, the public entity really loses control over who gets to be part of these naming deals. They’re really open to the highest bidder, so you can see situations where maybe they inaugurate one of these programs, they have a corporate partner they like but then someone else comes in and offers more money, and it could be a business with a somewhat unsavory character, it could be one that doesn’t seem to fit what New York City wants to represent to tourists and the rest of the world, but the First Amendment  really doesn’t let you pick winners and losers, so I think that is one problem,” he said. The story aired on NPR affiliates that include Connecticut Public Radio, WAMU-FM in Washington, D.C., WHYY-FM in Philadelphia, KUOW-FM in Seattle, KNPR-FM in Las Vegas and KUT-FM in Austin, Texas. Here and Now reaches an estimated 5 million weekly listeners on more than 450 stations across the country.

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