Tampa International Airport to allow ads on TSA security bins

3:22 PM, Apr 6, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- Buying a new pair of shoes or making an investment may not be the first thing on your mind when you're heading through airport security, but advertisers at Tampa International Airport will now get a chance to make you think about it.

The next time you shed your shoes or lower your laptop into one of those TSA plastic screening trays, you're likely to see a pre-boarding sales pitch.

Tampa-based SecurityPoint Media has inked a three-year deal with Tampa International Airport to slap slogans and other marketing materials on the bottom of those bins.

Joe Ambrefe, CEO of SecurityPoint says "It's a fantastic demographic in the sense that it's very targeted."

Ambrefe says its secure trays are lighter, brighter, and TSA approved. They're replaced by the company every 90 days.

The bill-bottomed bins are now in 38 airports, viewed by about a million passengers a day.

"The travelers get a cleaner, brighter checkpoint and the airport gets improved customer experience and revenue," said Ambrefe.

The company also provides more user-friendly tables for secondary screenings, and bin carts for TSA to move the bins around more easily. Research shows back injuries among TSA agencies were sharply reduced thanks to the carts provided by SecurityPoint.

After expenses, SecurityPoint also shares around 20 percent of its revenues with the airport. In TIA's case, that's about $100,000 over the next three years.

It may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but airport officials say every bit helps, and it keeps other costs down for passengers, like ticket fees and parking.

Janet Zink, a TIA spokesperson, says with major improvements underway at the airport, they have to be creative.

"We're always looking for new ways to generate revenue so we can invest more in the airport and make improvements in the airport," said Zink.

Of course travelers, already bombarded with airport advertising, may roll their eyes at the thought of yet another marketing moment.

Cameron Abdallah, about to go through a TSA checkpoint, questioned the effectiveness.

"I mean, there's ads everywhere and I don't always buy everything that I see," she said.

And Charlie Fleckenstein, another passenger said he'd even avoid buying a product just because it was placed on the bin.

"I don't think it's a good idea. I think they've got enough advertisements out there for us," he said.

But the right slogan, or clever sales pitch, says Ambrefe, can also help ease what's often a tense time for travelers.

"In the course of your day at the checkpoint, if the advertiser can put a smile on your face," he said, "you know, that's better than staring down at the bottom of a blank unit."

Security Point Media's first ad campaign at TIA will be online shoe company Zappos.com.

Look for it to start around the end of the month.

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