When Baltimore, Md. city councilman William "Pete" Welch's proposed to fight Baltimore's budget crunch and keep the city's fire companies open by offering ad space on fire engines, he heard almost immediately from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.). PETA fired off a letter to Welch, asking to ads on one or more of the city's fire trucks.
PETA wrote Welch on Saturday the 20th, and PETA spokesperson Shakira Croce told us there was no response from Welch yet. There was from Adweek’s David Kiefaber, who wrote yesterday that "I'll give PETA this much: They reached out to the right guy if they're interested in keeping Baltimore citizens firing.” Kiefaber grumped that Welch is best known for living off of his mother’s name (she held the council seat before him), and firing a gun into the ground in an argument over $40.
The Baltimore Business Journal reports that three of the city’s 55 fire companies, to close a budget gap. "Cities in the future aren't going to be able to have these budgets alone," Welch said. "They are going to have to form partnerships with business."
PETA’s Ashley Byrne, director of campaigns, wrote the letter, and she describes the ad this way:
“Our ‘Vegans Are Hot! Free Smokin'-Hot Recipes: PETA.org’ advertisement, featuring a sexy woman showing off her vegan physique, will drive Baltimore residents to PETA's heart-healthy vegan recipes that will keep them firing on all cylinders…Our ad will help your city keep all of its fire departments up and running while passing along a lifesaving message: By going vegan, Baltimore residents can save animals, protect their health, and help themselves become ‘hot stuff’!”
“Stupid idea,” wrote Kiefaber, who lives in Baltimore. But However quirky Welch is, or overbearing PETA can be in its messaging, sponsorship and outdoor advertising have saved high school gymnasiums and school buses. The idea is worth considering, and will spare Baltimore's firefighters from having to pose for another of those "Firefighter Hunks" calendars to stay in operation.