Monday, April 17, 2006

Free Street Parking in the Loop Today

When I walked out of my office building just now to run a quick errand, I noticed that one of the parking meters had been covered with an Allstate advertisement. So, I did a quick search online. From an article in today's Chicago Tribune:

Helping to cut parking costs in the Loop—for today anyway— is a birthday present from Allstate Insurance Co. In celebration of its 75th anniversary, the company is covering the costs of all city-metered parking spaces located in the Loop until 4 p.m., bordered by Wabash Avenue on the east, Lake Street on the north, Wells Street on the west and Jackson Boulevard on the south. In addition, Allstate will pay for meters along Ontario Street, east of Michigan Avenue extending to Lake Michigan until 9 p.m. AllState paid the city about $30,000 to cover the meters, said spokeswoman Jennifer Topolewski. In all, 350 to 400 parking spaces are covered. In the designated areas, super meters that take money for eight to 10 parking spaces are covered with hoods so parkers will know not to pay, she said. Individual meters have signs on them informing parkers of the gift.

The only hitch in this whole marketing campaign is that one of the cars parked along the street had already been ticketed. I'm wondering whether the parking enforcement officials (aka, the meter maids) were actually notified about this promotion. Either that or the owner of the car didn't read the fine print on the hood. You still have to obey normal parking regulations (i.e., not to exceed 2 hours). I imagine that the owner of the car is going to be pretty pissed off when he sees that ticket. Instead of paying a couple of dollars for 2 hours worth of parking, he's going to have to go through the hassle of actually contesting the ticket. My guess is that this campaign is going to backfire on Allstate. Ah, the best laid plans....

1 comment:

Single Ma said...

well isn't that nice of allstate. they've really stepped up their game in the marketing arena. $30k! i wonder how many new customers they'll score with this one? lol