NJ Turnpike Mulls Licensing Logos

TRENTON (AP) -

Would your morning commute be a little better if you were drinking coffee from an official New Jersey Turnpike travel mug? Would paying tolls be a little less of a task if you could reach in to a genuine Garden State Parkway purse for a quarter to throw in the basket?

These products and more could hit the shelves and souvenir shops if the Turnpike Authority finds an agent who can get the right price for the use of the Parkway and Turnpike logos.

The authority, which dubbed those logos as “the most iconic of New Jersey images” wants them as marketable trademarks that companies will pay to slap on products. To do that, they’re seeking a marketing gunslinger to make sure they and tollpayers don’t get taken for knock-off products.

A request for proposals from prospective agents has a deadline next Tuesday. Authority commissioners could vote on it as soon as March 31.

But if the Turnpike manufactures it, will people buy? Most of the people interviewed at a service area last Wednesday said no sale.

“I probably wouldn’t buy anything thing with the Parkway or Turnpike logo, but I understand why [they would hire an agent],” said Josh Ho of Manalapan. “It’s their trademark and they want to protect themselves.”

“I’d buy a t-shirt, maybe a hoodie,” said Nick Lardieri of Edison. “Any extra money they can make is good, it takes away from what we have to pay.”