10 October 2006

Space : The Final Ad Frontier?

space billboardA paper written by JH Huebert, an attorney based in Columbus, Ohio will be presented at the International Astronautical Conference. The paper, In Defense of Advertising in Space, argues that a congressional ban on space billboards is unjustified. It is counselor Huebert stance that space ads are guaranteed under the laws for private property and free speech.

According to Ad Age, the last time there was an uproar over an orbiting billboard was in 1993, when a plan surfaced to launch a mile-wide raft displaying the Olympic rings into low orbit in preparation for the 1996 Atlanta games. The Outdoor Advertising Association of America is against such tactics then and remains opposed today.

Notable Space Ad-Ventures

1993: Arnold Schwarzenegger buys an ad on the side of a rocket to promote "Last Action Hero."

1996: Pepsi pays Russia to float a can outside the Mir space station.

2000: Pizza Hut puts its logo on side of Proton rocket in Kazakhstan and delivers the first pizza to space.

2001: Lego promotes its "Life on Mars" set by sending it into space-along with 300 Lego aliens-on a Russian expedition.

2002: Pepsi considers giving away a ride on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and 'N Sync's Lance Bass looks for sponsors to pay his way. Both plans fizzle.

2006: A Russian astronaut is expected to whack a golf ball into orbit off the International Space Station as part of a promotion for Element 21, a golf-equipment manufacturer.

I think advertising should be allowed in space. Perhaps our space program would advance with an infusion of advertising dollars. There would be repair shuttles, billboard pilot boats and other such craft to change the letters on the signs (LOL). These advertising agency contractors could stop at the International Space Station and make a few repairs on their way back to Earth.

Perhaps they could help with the space debris problem, too. This effort would make great advertising taglines:
  • Picking up the universe for you.
  • Stashing your trash so future generations won't crash.
  • Recycling on a cosmic scale.
  • [your tagline here]

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