Looking to capitalize on Buster the bunny's newfound notoriety, producer WGBH and the Sponsorship Group for Public TV are renewing their call for national corporate sponsorships for its educational kids' show, Postcards from Buster.
The sponsorships are being offered as a two-fer with kids show, Arthur, from which Buster was spun off.
WGBH is looking both to capitalize on the flap surrounding Buster and to hedge against the possibility that the Department of Education might not fund it for a second season. Station spokeswoman Lucy Sholley points out they would be looking for sponsors regardless to fill a funding gap that is present whether or not the DOE dough comes through.
“We recognize that Buster has received a considerable amount of press attention recently,” said Suzanne Zellner, Group Director, National Program Sales and Marketing of SGPTV, which is analogous to a national rep firm for sponsorships. “So now is the perfect time to sponsor Postcards from Buster and take advantage of his visibility in the marketplace.”
National sponsors will get two 15-second spots in each show ( a total of 1,040 on-air spots per year). But wait, there's more! They also will get series artwork and promotional items, the right to use the series' logos in their ads and tune-in promos, corporate logos on the shows' web sites, spots and logos on home video releases and a chance to insert coupons into the boxes, and even Arthur and Buster costumes for company events.
Buster is majority funded through a DOE Ready to Learn grant, though DOE appeared ready to rethink that funding after getting wind of a Buster episode that featured a pair of lesbian-headed families. PBS chose not to distribute that episode, but WGBH aired it anyway, as did a number of other stations.
WGBH applied for a second season of Buster funding from DOE, but it has yet to hear back.