How much did it cost to plaster Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried’s face on gas pumps across the state?
Turns out, just a touch over $5,000.
The new stickers — 120,000 of them, to be exact — signify that gas pumps have been inspected by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Unlike the stickers bearing former commissioner Adam Putnam’s name, they have a colorful blue and green design with, most notably, an image of Fried’s face. The sticker includes a phone number to report fraud and the web address for a consumer portal. It replaces the traditional seal from administrations past — none of which had the face of the commissioner.
While the decals drew the ire of Republicans who argued that they are out-of-line campaign advertising, the stickers are soon to be out of compliance with Florida law. A bill passed in the legislative session that becomes law on July 1 explicitly says the sticker on the gas pump may only use a “combination of lettering, numbering, words, or the department logo.”
The stickers were ordered on April 19 — two weeks before legislators added the language in the final days of session.
A spokesman for Fried said the department’s legal team is looking through the legislation to see what, if anything, needs to be done.
At a press conference Wednesday, Fried said the attention she’s gotten from the stickers has been a good thing, as customers will “see that there’s someone who’s accountable” for what’s happening at the pumps.
Most people in Florida didn’t even know there was a sticker on the gas station pumps until this change happened, she said.