UPPER DARBY — Last year’s budget crisis prompted Upper Darby School District officials to look into allowing advertisements on the district’s website to generate additional revenue.
Representatives from Thought Process Enterprises provided the district with information at the work session of the regular board meeting in May.
President Eric Venezie and Director of Web Operations Robert Phillips addressed the board and fielded questions about EDGEclick Network, a division of TPE.
“It’s an opportunity to create some revenue,” Venezie said.
According to Superintendent Richard Dunlap, the program is offered at no cost to the district.
“We will have strict controls on what can and cannot be advertised,” Dunlap said. “Obviously we are restricting cigarette, alcohol and political (ads). They will be tastefully done with banner ads and local ads. Upper Darby gets 50 percent and it will generate an alternative revenue source.”
Thought Process Enterprises was established in 2006 and began work as an advertising consultant with a pilot school district, Seneca Valley School District, in 2012. It haas other contracts with more than 20 school districts in the western Pennsylvania Pittsburgh market.
The firm is seeking a one-year commitment from the school district.
Board President Maureen Carey asked about the comparison between the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia market areas.
“Philadelphia area is obviously larger,” Phillips said. “The same types of businesses that advertise in Pittsburgh want to advertise in this area. We match advertisers with publishers. The bigger the district, the more money they receive. Most businesses want to advertise to families. The school district can filter any content. We pay our publishers monthly. There are no fees and no charges to the district. It’s 100 percent shared revenue.
“Seneca Valley received $20,000 per year. It’s not a lot, but $20,000 is more than no money. Upper Darby is a large enough district for this to work here and it’s worth it for us to do.”
According to Phillips, the company contacts regional businesses to advertise.
“We don’t get paid if we don’t get ads,” Phillips said. “Local businesses definitely have an opportunity to advertise. We provide three standard ad sizes. This is an advertising purchase for a 17-month commitment.”
The board will vote on accepting the proposal to contract with TPE for ads on the website at the June 10 meeting.
By LINDA REILLY, Times Correspondent