Wildlife department close to accepting advertising

by Jeremy Alford, LaPolitics

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department closed the public comment period in early January on its proposed rule to begin selling advertisements to private companies.

Last year the state Legislature approved legislation permitting the department to move forward with the process that could eventually lead to paid sponsorships. The legislation does not spell out exactly where the advertising can be placed, but it allows for signage to be put on the department’s property.

The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission is charged with coming up with the specific regulations. The guiding rules it has published, and that public comments are no longer being accepted, calls for a much broader scope than originally envisioned.

William Guste, an attorney for the department, said the program will likely launch next fiscal year, after July 1, 2016, and will focus primarily on sponsorships and banner ads in regulation brochures and the department’s website,

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department is following in the footsteps of the Department of Transportation and Development, which began selling ad space on its motorist assistance vehicles to State Farm in 2014.

A recent analysis from the Legislative Fiscal Office noted that the revenue generated by Wildlife and Fisheries under the proposed program “will be dependent upon the advertising contracts.” DOTD, through its current advertising agreement with State Farm, is collecting $250,000.