Ads in License Plate Renewals
Some might find it strange to see advertising for Toyotas, Hyundais and Rovers, especially along side a Missouri Department of Revenue license renewal. House democratic leader Jeff Harris found out about the ads and complained to Governor Blunt.
"Our automobile economy, manufacturing economy is an important part of our state's economy. Why in the world would the state of Missouri promote a product that directly competes with products made right here in our state?" questioned Missouri representative Jeff Harris.
The Missouri Department of Revenue hired a private company called Imagitas to send out the license renewals. Instead of the state paying more than one million dollars, Imagitas would find advertisers to help reduce cost. Now the state only pays for postage, close to $600,000 a year.
Imagitas said they solicited advertising from all Missouri car plant companies, but it declined. In fact, for two years Ford was the sole advertiser for Imagitas in Missouri. It had ads with slogans like, "This year, renew more than just your vehicle registration." But now it declined to renew its contract, and Toyota and Hyundai signed on.
The Department of Revenue wrote a statement saying Imagitas saves Missouri taxpayers a half a million dollars a year in printing costs. But the Department does not endorse any company or product, including the advertisers in this registration renewal package;however, in the end, the Department of Revenue does have the final say of what ads stay or go. Toyota paid for current advertising, Hyundai is next.
KOMU tried to contact the Governor's office, no-one returned those calls.