Transit Ad Firm Sees Benefits After a Second Look by CIRAS

A Carlisle advertising company that specializes in bringing brand marketing to transit buses credits a key portion of its business to the technical expertise of a CIRAS government contracting specialist.

Jeff Lamb, co-owner of Midwest Truck Advertising, said CIRAS performed a valuable service by checking over a bid proposal he submitted to the Iowa Department of Transportation in late 2017. The fledgling company was competing with several other firms for an overarching contract to see which company would have the right to place advertising on 25 of Iowa’s 35 city bus systems.

Jodi Essex, a government contracting specialist with the CIRAS Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), said CIRAS specialists frequently serve as an important backstop for busy companies—a valuable, extra pair of eyes to make certain that firms are meeting the technical requirements of proposals and really telling government agencies what they need to know.

“Sometimes, we can read the proposal and understand what the agency is asking for when maybe the vendors don’t necessarily understand what’s being asked,” Essex said. “Because of our expertise sitting on the other side of that table, we can interpret it.”

In this case, the review helped correct Lamb’s interpretation of some legal verbiage and allowed Midwest Truck Advertising the chance to make a few additional changes.

“Government work is very complicated, and I don’t know what I’d do without you guys,” Lamb said of CIRAS. “You’ve really helped me a lot. . . . We would have lost the bid if Jodi hadn’t gone through it with a fine-tooth comb.”

Instead, Lamb said Midwest Truck Advertising won the new contract and received new gross revenues exceeding $145,000 during the first 18 months under its existence. The company currently is working on plans to expand into new advertising ventures in parking garages and the downtown Des Moines skywalks.”

At the end of the day, we wouldn’t be where we are today without Jodi,” Lamb said. “And she answered all of our questions within 48 hours.”

> For more information, contact Jodi Essex at or 515-509-0769.


A version of this article was published in the Fall 2019 edition of CIRAS News. To read more of that edition or others, please explore elsewhere on our website.