High gas prices have inspired some employees to convert their cars into de facto mobile billboards. Is looking like a complete loser worth the savings?

Misha Di Bono gets paid an additional $500 on top of her salary to plaster her car with her company’s logo. On top of that, her employer pays for all her gas expenses, including all commuting miles and personal trips. Not a bad deal.

[Check out the CNN video featuring this money-saving diva, Mischa Di Bono. (13 seconds into the video- more like Misha ‘To BoneYou’! Come on, am I right? High five!)]
But is this program worth it for the company, and can you flip off other drivers in this thing?

Misha’s employer, Jobing.com, started off the auto-billboard program in 2001. At that time only three executives, including the company’s founder, were willing to drive these nerd mobiles around.

CNN reports that with gassing up a car costing almost twice as much as last year, employees at Jobing.com are signing up for the car ‘wrap-up’ treatment in record numbers. Now 60% of their 270 employees are ride these corporate sell-out whips.

Jobing.com, a job posting website, says it costs $3,000 – $4,000 to ‘wrap-up’ an employee’s car with these hot decals, but they expect the advertising and increased exposure more than makes up for that costs. There are a couple of qualifications to get in on this sweet deal though.

  • Your car can’t be more than three years old
  • You must have a clean driving record
  • You’ve must take a driving safety course
  • You can’t flip anyone off while driving the logo cars

That’s a tough price to pay, but I’m pretty sure some hot chick driving a Red Bull car flipped me off once. Maybe that isn’t a universal policy that includes edgy brands like the ‘Bull.

Jobing doesn’t crap from speed freaks though. They weren’t afraid to ‘un-wrap’ one employees car after he got too many speeding tickets. Do they report those tickets to the company if you drive a billboard car? That’s gotta suck.

Ms. Di Boner concluded the CNN article saying, “They pay for everything. They pay for me to go to all my appointments and anything I want to do on my own time. You’d be a fool not to take advantage of it.” I say some might argue, you would look like a fool for taking advantage of it. But with an extra $500 and no gas bills, you can’t really beat looking like a fool.

This article does leave me with a few questions though, are there other brands doing this? Would people approach you looking for a ‘Job’ while you drove around? What did Ms. Di Boner mean when she said ‘anything I want to do on my own time.’ We may never know, but feel free to hypothesize in the comments section.

Jobing: Jobing mobiles are generating buzz, June 11, 2008

CNN: $500 a month, free gas to drive a billboard, June 19, 2008