Why is there advertising on WSDOT's website?
Advertising on the Washington State Department of Transportation's website began in response to legislative direction that the agency explore the potential for generating revenue from digital advertising and sponsorships. In 2011, WSDOT launched a pilot project, offering advertising on ferry schedule and Vessel Watch web pages. The program was later expanded to traveler information pages. Formal authorization by the Legislature of commercial advertising on the WSDOT website and social media was made effective July 1, 2017, in RCW 47.04.360.
How does WSDOT manage its digital advertising program?
WSDOT offers advertising space on a selection of the agency's most popular web pages and social media, including pages with information on traffic, weather, travel alerts, and mountain passes.
Through a competitive bidding process, WSDOT selected a partner, Municipal Media Solutions, LLC, to handle all sales, marketing, billing, collection, record keeping, reporting and payment processing for the digital advertising program.
WSDOT retains the right to refuse any advertising and any ad posting; Municipal Media Solutions will immediately remove any advertising that WSDOT directs it to remove.
WSDOT also places high importance on ensuring advertising does not interfere with the user experience on the website; no pop-up advertisements are allowed, and advertising cannot slow or degrade access to agency information.
What advertising is permitted?
All banner-space advertising sold is limited to commercial goods or services, which are clearly labeled with a link to information about the program and WSDOT's advertising guidelines.
What advertising is prohibited?
Advertising containing the following content is not permitted:
- Obscene or indecent
- Public Issue
In addition, advertising that depicts or promotes the following products, services or other material is not permitted:
- Tobacco products
- Films rated "X" or "NC-17" and video games rated "A" or "M", or comparable industry standards
- Adult book / video stores, adult Internet sites, adult telephone services, escort services and adult entertainment establishments
- Any material that is false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive or would constitute a tort of defamation or invasion of privacy
- Any material that is so objectionable that under contemporary community standards as to be reasonably foreseeable that it will result in harm to, disruption of, or interference with a transportation system
- Any material directed at a person or group that is so insulting, degrading or offensive as to be reasonably foreseeable that it will incite or produce imminent lawless action in the form of retaliation, vandalism or other breach of public safety, peace and order
How much money is raised through advertising?
Under a revenue sharing agreement, WSDOT receives 70 percent and Municipal Media Solutions retains 30 percent of the sales revenue collected. WSDOT's portion of the web advertising revenue is approximately $100,000 per year.
Where does the money go?
All revenue WSDOT receives from web advertising is deposited into the Motor Vehicle Account. This account is primarily used for the support of highway programs, including the construction and maintenance of state, city and county roadways. The state Department of Licensing also receives appropriations from this account for vehicle services programs.
Why advertise on the WSDOT web?
WSDOT has an average of two million monthly website users; 68,000 monthly android users; and 116,000 monthly iPhone users. This diverse user population is attractive to advertisers, particularly those targeting motorists, commuters, travelers and tourists in Washington state. This audience is likely coming to the site for travel planning, which is appealing for auto insurers and travel destinations.
Who advertises on the website?
In 2018, approximately 735 advertisers purchased advertising on the WSDOT site. Those included Amica Insurance, Washington's Playground (visitChelanCounty.com), Sound Transit, Kenmore Air, Stevens Pass, Mt. Baker, Evo (an outdoor retailer) and City of Spokane.
Contact WSDOT's advertising sales firms for information and rates
Ferry Web pages
Reach a unique audience of ferry riders through a targeted monthly package that includes Vessel Watch and 12 ferry schedule pages.
Online traveler information
Create a custom package for your campaign targeting specific geographical areas on popular traffic and travel pages, with more than 10 million impressions per month. Select from Seattle traffic and flowmaps, Western Washington traffic (Tacoma, Olympia, Bellingham, border crossing), mountain passes (Snoqualmie Pass, White Pass, pass information), traffic cameras, and general traveler information (weather, alerts).
Municipal Media Solutions
310 Maple Park Ave. SE
PO Box 47322
Olympia, WA 98504-7322