Ads on Barf Bags

Here at the Agency one of the things we keep tabs on is ad creep. Each year, ads creep further into our daily lives through public space, classrooms, bathrooms, and so on. Over time advertisers become more and more desperate to get our attention because their traditional methods don’t work, or don’t work well enough – for a variety of reasons – and the line of what is deemed acceptable space for advertising slowly moves.

In 2003, advertising on airplane tray tables was an outrageous news item. In 2006, the ads are creeping further. Recently US Airways announced it will be selling advertising space on it’s barf bags. (See the story below.)

On a related note, this week CBS announced it will be laser etching advertising on egg shells.

From Associated Press:

Next time you feel sick on a US Airways flight, you might spy an advertisement as you reach for the air-sickness bag.

The airline, the dominant carrier at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, says it’s going to sell advertisements on the bags tucked between the in-flight magazines and safety cards.

“They’re in every back seat pocket,” said spokesman Phil Gee. “We figure while it’s there, why don’t we make it multipurpose?”

But will the inside of plane cabins start looking as commercial-laden as subway cars and buses?

“Little things like that work,” said Michael Boyd, president of the Boyd Group, an aviation consulting group in Evergreen, Colo. “Barf bags have a lot of shelf life – people aren’t barfing as much in planes as they used to.”

“But having an advertisement for a barf bag, especially if it’s for something like Dramamine, now that’s brilliant.”

The ads should start showing up in September, the company said. It’s just another way to squeeze out a bigger profit.

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