City Councilor Rob Consalvo (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan), today proposed slapping advertising on city Web sites, including library and school sites - and even the site run by the city's public-housing authority.
Consalvo says cityofboston.gov got 6.8 million visits last year, the BPS site some 4.7 million.
With this kind of traffic, the city and the BPS could potentially raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in recurring revenue from advertising on these Web sites as well as advertising on associated city Web sites such as the Boston Public Library, the Boston Public Health Commission, the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Boston Housing Authority.
Consalvo said he would want to see "strong content review" to ensure inappropriate ads are not run (Ed. note: Darn, there go the plans to capture some of the MBTA's liquor-ad sales by putting beer ads on school-lunch menus).
However, the city might have to leave its flagship site out of any ad solicitations. The US General Services Administration, which handles registration of .gov sites, such as cityofboston.gov, bars advertising:
A Gov Internet domain may not be used to advertise for private individuals, firms, or corporations, or imply in any manner that the government endorses or favors any specific commercial product, commodity, or service.
H/t Kate Hutchinson for digging up the ad ban.