Philly firefighters run radio ads about closures


KYW-AM Philadelphia says Philadelphia firefighters — still fuming over the mayor’s closure of seven engine and ladder companies — are taking to the airwaves with ads that the mayor calls "irresponsible."

(Radio actors:)
"I can’t get out!"
"What’s your location, ma’am?"
"Around the corner from Ladder 1!"
"Sorry, ma’am, Ladder 1 is no longer there.  We’ll send the next nearest one."
"Oh, God…."

The ads deal with the closure at the end of last year of five engine and two ladder companies in a move that saves the city more than $10 million.

Firefighters’ union chief Brian McBride says the local is running the radio spots as a public service: "The public’s got to realize that their lives are put in jeopardy due to these cuts."

But Mayor Nutter insists the cuts don’t jeopardize safety, and he says the ads could cause mass hysteria: "It is unfortunate that the union would engage in those kinds of scare tactics."

The union will also run billboards bashing the mayor, and plans a protest rally on Friday at the fire administration building.

RBR/TVBR observation: Lump this into an advocacy ad category or not, but local sales departments nationwide should keep their antennae up for news headlines such as this. When budget cuts, lawsuits, corruption and other misdeeds get done that can affect the listening audience, radio can sound the alarm quickly, efficiently and effectively—and the call to action can be simply go to a web address to find out more.