Comcast has climbed aboard an initiative to clean up the nations’ waterways, and it stands to sell a few local ads and pick up subscribers in the process. Southern California-based Environmental Communication’s Adopt-a-Waterway program sells space on custom-designed signs in high traffic areas to local businesses for a monthly fee; a portion of the fees goes back to the cities for pollution-prevention projects. Environmental Communication also offers local businesses in select markets the opportunity to sponsor tagged public service announcements; EC creates the spots and handles the media buys, and the sponsoring businesses pay for them. The tags at the ends of the ads tell viewers where to turn for more information about the business and what it’s doing to help clean up the environment. The program kicked off in Miami and Sacramento, Calif., last month. Comcast was the first company to sponsor the public service commercials in Miami, and is also running the ads on its lineup, says EC president and founder Paul Polizzotto. Comcast is buying the ad space, but rather than take the cash from itself, it’s giving the funds generated by the sold avails to the city of Miami, he notes. The program is set to launch in New York this month, and more city launches are planned throughout the year. "[Comcast] also benefits from this," says Polizzotto. "They are getting advertising revenue they might otherwise get from a local business. Morrison Homes, which bought the first public service commercial in Sacramento, has never advertised on cable in the area before. In Miami, [Comcast] is helping the local government, and that is forging a stronger relationship there. And we’re giving them another avenue to sell their services." Representatives from Comcast were unavailable for comment.

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