Now Prisoners Have to Watch Commercials in Jail


Pity the prisoner. The one place seemingly protected from the 24-7 marketing blitz that is life in 2011, with all of its product-placement surround-sound digital marketed glory — that is, jail — has fallen prey to the great beast of advertising. Inmates at the Erie County Holding Center in Buffalo, New York, will now have the pleasure of watching ads featuring defense lawyers and bail bondsmen on high-definition TV screens, just minutes after they are arrested.

Anthony N. Diina, head of Metrodata Services, which is offering the ads to Erie County via a unit with the rather on-the-nose title of “Captive Ads,” says this is exactly what advertising should do! Hit the target audience at the point of the purchase decision.

‘What do people want when they are in the Holding Centre?’ Diina asked. ‘They want to get out. And they don’t want to get convicted. So they want bail. And an attorney.’

‘This is the ultimate captive audience,’ Diina said.

The messages will run on screens outside of booking and in a lobby where friends and family wait to visit inmates. Along with the ads, there will be rules of the facility and and answers to frequently asked questions. Diina says the ads could make $8,000 to $15,000 a year for the jail.

Is nothing sacred? suit by Thakoon for Target.] Well, at least bail bondsmen commercials are kind of funny. Assuming you haven’t just been arrested.

Advertising company putting ads in county jail [ via Gothamist]