Your ad here: an Islamabad security checkpoint

Mon Aug 3, 2009 9:58am EDT
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By Jason Subler

ISLAMABAD (Reuters Life!) - Police in Pakistan's capital have found a new way to secure the resources to fight terrorism: turning security checkpoints into advertising space.

Islamabad is on high alert against bomb attacks as the military fights the Taliban in the country's northwest, forcing authorities to ramp up the number of checkpoints in the city from a dozen at the start of the year to around 75 now.

To cope, police have welcomed donations of hundreds of traffic barriers, umbrellas and guard outposts -- all emblazoned with the logos of the companies that gave them.

"We are passing through a very crucial time," said Sultan Azam Temuri, senior superintendent of traffic police.

"So that's why we don't mind these companies donating and sponsoring a few barriers, even if they write their name there."

By no means all of the city's checkpoints have been turned into full-fledged advertisements: only a few boast the complete treatment of branded traffic barriers and signage, touting their wares to a captive audience of drivers and passengers.

But the ubiquitous guard shelters and other logo-covered facilities now represent some of the most visible advertising in the capital.

They also inject color into a streetscape that in many parts of town is otherwise dominated by blast walls, razor wire and other reminders of the constant threat of attack.   Continued...