The next time you go through airport security, and you wind your way past the signs that warn against weapons and smoking and scissors and torch lighters, there could be another message waiting.
Nestled in that gray plastic bin with your loafers and laptop will be some words from a sponsor who’s paying to be there. Yes, coming to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport: bin-vertising.
The airport plans to join roughly 40 other airports, such as Nashville and Chattanooga, in selling the ads. Among the advertisers has been online shoe retailer Zappos.
The ads could generate as much as $250,000 annually, said airport general manager Louis Miller. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration started a bin advertising pilot program in 2007, and it has been an option for airports nationwide since 2008.
“We just think it makes sense,” Miller said. The airport plans to sign a memorandum of understanding with the TSA to develop the advertising program. Then, the city plans to later this year take bids and strike a license agreement with an advertising broker.
Why would anyone want to advertise to harried people tossing their shoes into bins? For one, airline travelers are often touted as a lucrative demographic with relatively high incomes.
TSA also benefits. TSA normally pays for equipment at security checkpoints. But, under an advertising agreement, the ad broker would provide bins, tables and bin carts to TSA, while coordinating advertising to be placed on plastic mats stuck to the inside bottoms of the bins.