Trashy ads? Philly approves large ads on 375 garbage cans

One of the many ads placed on the Bigbelly trash cans along Market Street this week.

Philadelphia has taken the idiom “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” to the next level by approving ad space on 375 of its trash cans across the city.

Large, garish advertisements for Barbera’s Autoland began appearing ad nauseum on three of the four sides of the city’s Bigbelly trash cans along Market Street this week.

Ad space has been purchased on all 275 new Bigbelly trash cans that the city got last year and 100 of the 125 older units the city has refurbished, according to city spokeswoman Kelly Cofrancisco. There are now 200 trash cans plastered with ads across the city and by the end of July, that number should reach around 375.

Given that the auto dealership’s tag line is “Is Barbera’s the best? Boy I guess,” we’re not really sure why they wanted to be associated with garbage. A call for comment to the dealership was not returned. It wasn’t immediately clear what other companies, if any, had purchased ads.

Camera icon City of Philadelphia and Google Maps
A map of the current and planned locations of Bigbelly trash cans with advertising in Philadelphia.

In an email, Cofrancisco said the 275 new trash cans — valued at $1.25 million — were obtained in 2017 “without any financial investment or cost to taxpayers” in a 10-year contract with Bigbelly.

In exchange for the continued maintenance of the units and other related features, the city gave permission to sell advertising on the trash cans to Green City Solutions. The city will receive 5 percent of that revenue.

That’s not a Hefty-enough profit for the city to make us Glad to see those advertisements, which Cofrancisco said were approved and did “conform to the City’s Advertising Policy and regulations.”

We don’t want to be Oscar the Grouch, because the city needs all the trash help it can get, but these advertisements are as loud and offensive as Garbage Pail Kids. It’s making us ad nauseous.

>> READ MORE: Filthadelphia mapped: See how trash in your neighborhood stacks up

What do you think? Have you seen the new ads? Let us know.