Two New Jersey state senators sponsored a bill that could generate income for the state, but a few problems have caused the bill to be put on hold. SB 1531 would allow several state agencies — the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, NJ Transit and the New Jersey Lottery — to begin a two-year pilot program in which advertising could be sold on their websites. The bill was to create strict guidelines for regulating the advertisements, but the bill was withdrawn because of several potential problems.
While .gov websites prohibit advertisements, the three agencies targeted by SB 1531 use .com or .net domains, which could allow advertisements with the right legislation. And while the bill stipulates that the state will develop guidelines “that ensure that the subject matter of any Internet advertisement displayed by the agency directly relates to the business mission and purpose of the agency,” several conflicts remain.
Allowing businesses to showcase their names on sports stadiums and entertainment centers has become commonplace, and several states are looking for other options, such as website advertising, to make additional income. New York is extending the practice to allow subway stations to be named after businesses.