Habeeb wipes out toilet ad plan

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 11, 2000

Not content to go with the flow, South Ward Alderman Sam Habeeb cut short an attempt Thursday to sell advertising space inside bathroom stalls at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

“There’s some tackiness to it,” said Habeeb, in explaining why he was unable to sit by and allow the measure to pass.

“We need to keep the internal architecture consistent with that executive look,” he said.

But the plan isn’t down the tubes yet. Board members asked the city’s legal department to spend some time looking into the bathroom matter, and report their findings at the next meeting.

Pinpoint Advertising owner Brad Morris said city leaders shouldn’t flush the idea without thoroughly digesting all the facts.

Pinpoint’s tastefully framed advertisements can be found gracing urinals, bathroom stalls and even pay telephones in some of Jackson’s trendiest and most upscale establishments, Morris said.

“This is a win-win situation for our patrons,” he said. “It gives them something to read and adds to the decor in the restroom.”

In fact, Morris said many of his clients have told him that the placards tend to discourage bathroom stall messages of the more commonplace variety.

The two greatest assets of the advertising strategy, he said, are the captive audience factor and the ability to pinpoint a specific market.

“For instance, you can focus your ad on either men or women with a great deal of accuracy,” Morris said.

Clients can make in-kind payment for putting up the ads, meaning their name and phone number on up to 100 bathroom walls across Mississippi, or they can opt for cash.

Convention Center Director Norman Ford said he is interested in the $87.50 that could be generated each month by the ads, and encouraged city board members to take the plunge.

“These are pretty common in Jackson,” Ford said. “Anything they can sell, they sell.”