New Reno campaign involves more-wholesome ads on cabs

RENO — The Reno area’s economic development agency wants the world to know the Biggest Little City has more to offer than strip joints and nearby brothels.

A new marketing campaign seeks to replace racy ads on taxicabs and billboards with a more wholesome message.

The goal of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada is to promote the region as a great place to live and do business and show new business prospects that the area has much more to offer than skin, the Reno Gazette-Journal ( reported Monday.

Part of the “expand your business and enjoy your life” campaign includes diversifying the ads on many of the cabs that carry visitors, including business decision-makers, around the area.

“We were hearing from our prospects that certain marketing, not only on taxi tops, but in other places, was offensive to them, and that once they got to know our community, they were pleased to find that our community was much different than this initial impression,” Mike Kazmierski, CEO of EDAWN, told the newspaper.

Sixty-six Whittlesea Checker taxis will carry the new signs for one year. EDAWN has about 65 percent to 75 percent of that ad space committed.

Reno-based candy manufacturer Kimmie Candy Co. will be sponsoring a cab.

“We are trying to be a pro-business environment,” said Joe Dutra, president and CEO of Kimmie Candy. “We are trying to attract companies from all over the United States to make Reno their home.

“People coming into town, they want to have little bit more wholesome image of what Reno could be,” Dutra said. “We are just trying to be a little part of that and sweeten up the image of Reno.”

Other sponsors include and Q&D Construction Inc.

Local businesses can participated by donating to the EDAWN Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and choosing from about a dozen ad options. They also can use their own marketing material on the taxi tops and directly pay Whittlesea.

Marketing pieces of the campaign include LED-lighted displays around prominent tourist venues, such as the Reno-Sparks Convention Center or the National Bowling Stadium, billboards and truck wraps.

The LED displays require a $5,000 donation for a two-year commitment, while the yearlong taxi-top option is $1,000.


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