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Posted on Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 11:28 a.m.

Ads on toilet paper? U-M grad's unique product hits the Ann Arbor area

By Lizzy Alfs

Patrons at Scio Township’s Bel-Mark Lanes will soon be face-to-face with advertisements on their bathroom tissue.


Star Toilet Paper prints ads on rolls that are then provided to businesses.

Photo from

The bowling alley is one of several Ann Arbor area businesses to start carrying Star Toilet Paper’s ad-printed rolls, A2 Journal reports.

The company was co-founded in 2010 by University of Michigan graduate Jordan Silverman and his brother, Bryan.

They sell toilet paper adspace — currently to 50 different advertisers — and then provide the printed rolls free of charge to businesses that will carry the product.

"It seems like such an obvious idea, Jordan Silverman said. “You have someone in complete solitude, often looking for something to read.”

Bel-Mark Lanes plans to start carrying the product Aug. 1, according to the report. The company’s other local clients: a private corporate building and Dance Theater Studio on North University Avenue.

To learn more about the company, read the full A2 Journal report here.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

Wow! Talk about flushing your advertising dollars down the toilet.


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 2:01 p.m.

Started out scoffing, but now I'm impressed; Mr. Silverman seems to have covered most contingencies, and (God forgive me) wiped away my objections.


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 11:40 a.m.

Can we please have just one space immune from advertising? What's next? Audio ads when you flush or turn on the water?


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 12:44 a.m.

I like John Wayne brand toilet paper personally. It's rough, it's tough, and it doesn't take stuff off nobody.


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 11:16 a.m.

I miss the duke. Lets happy trails it to the sun.


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 9:59 p.m.

This is s-o-o '70s. Buddy of mine had a thriving business back then selling a product called "Woody Wipes" outside of Michigan Stadium. Just stood on the sidewalk and made a fortune... Until Woody got fired, leaving him with too much inventory. But one thing about that product, though — you know you'll use it eventually, and it ain't got a shelf life! His other product was a bumper sticker that read "Wuck Foody". Sold a lot of those, too.

Ron Granger

Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

If it is anything like the ink on newsprint he could make a small fortune vending "intimate" bleaching kits to remove the stains from, uh, down there.


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.

as ridiculous as the SNL skit , starring john Hamm, touting "john hamm toilet paper..." ( made of ham!!). more ridiculous actually since this is real.

rusty shackelford

Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 6:29 p.m.

It'd be amazing if all the ads were for various brands of toilet paper.

Jordan Silverman

Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 6:38 p.m.

Absolutely, we can give you some free sample rolls. If you are in Ann Arbor your guests will be able to enjoy great coupons from their favorite places!

rusty shackelford

Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 6:26 p.m.

Wow. New low. These rates second to those companies that pay drunk bums to get their brand tattooed on the forehead. Also--not quite a mixed metaphor in the lead sentence, but priceless nonetheless.


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 6:05 p.m.

I can see it now....... Where were you? Oh - I was in the toilet reading the toilet paper!


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 11:15 a.m.

Thank you. I can see a few relatives doing that one.

Jordan Silverman

Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 5:56 p.m.

Thank you Lizzy for a great article! I am happy to see so many comments below, we believe our product is going to bring out two feelings in people- love or hate and either will get them talking about the product as evidence by this thread. All we are trying to do is promote companies in a cost efficient and unique manner, and get people talking about them!

rusty shackelford

Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 6:28 p.m.

Can I get some free toilet paper for my house? I'm not a business, but I do throw a lot of parties where lots of people end up "face to face" with the toilet paper, as Alfs says.


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

UMMMM. Did toilet paper companies stop making colored paper because it causes issues for women because of the dye's what would make this different?


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 7:26 p.m.

Thanks for the answer. I am hooked on Shark Tank.....I think that is something one of the sharks would have asked you. GOOD LUCK! Kind of jealous I didn't come up with that idea.

Jordan Silverman

Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 7:14 p.m.

Lisa, that is a great question there is not an optional dispenser or other rolls in the bathroom. To date we have not run into the problem of anybody not being able to use the toilet paper due to allergy. If that presents itself as a problem in the future we can offer that. However, for now if someone were to run into the problem or be worried about the ink they can simply turn the toilet paper over or take off the top ply since only the top of the first ply is actually printed and contacting the ink.


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 7:06 p.m.

Ok then...this is to Belmark, who is going to be using it. If there truly is a statement on the dispenser about the there an optional dispenser of regular paper for patrons to use? There is going to have to be...if truly people have allergies.

Jordan Silverman

Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 6:48 p.m.

Thank you Kim we put stickers on every dispenser containing information about the safety of our product as well as more information on the inks!


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 6:43 p.m.

What about people who are allergic to soy products - severe allergic reactions. Soy-based ink is used in the production of newspapers, fliers, and phone books. Most that I have seen have a statement such as: "the flier was printed using soy-based inks". Good luck with your business, Mr. Silverman.

Jordan Silverman

Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 5:54 p.m.

All of our ink is soybean based and has been privately tested to ensure it is completely safe to use!


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 5:48 p.m.

good point

Monica R-W

Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

Wow....just wow! Speechless....


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 5:19 p.m.

Actually.....this would be a great place for cab companies to place their ads, attorneys, hotels...all potential clients of an intoxicated patron.

John of Saline

Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 5:41 p.m.

Bail bondsmen.


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 5:21 p.m.

well...don't know if I phrased the client part right, but I think you get my drift. Potential "sources" for an intoxicated person is probably the right thing to say.


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 4:56 p.m.

What a waste........


Sat, Jul 28, 2012 : 11:14 a.m.

I could not agree more.


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 4:48 p.m.

I'd Like a roll with Romney's pic on every sheet


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 9:24 p.m.

Congratulations, you two are the first. "Hope" you're happy to represent your party. Some things never "Change".


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 9:17 p.m.

Mixmaster might be on to something. Maybe they can print rolls with Democrat pictures on each sheet. The proceeds from sales could be used to fund the welfare and food stamp programs.


Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 8:43 p.m.

I find it interesting that crude comments about politicians get positive votes.

Atlas Shrugged

Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 8:30 p.m.

Me, too, but I hear the toilet paper already comes stained with feces, the imprinted words "hope and change, " our president's smiling face, and an advisory to save and re-use the TP because pretty soon most folks won't be able to afford new stuff. And, the entrepreneurs who came up with this great idea, and might get rich off of it, should remember: you didn't create a successful business: someone else, if not the federal government, did it for you.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 6:02 p.m.

I'd say that romney uses $100 bills, but that would imply that he evacuates himself and isn't full of ...

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Jul 27, 2012 : 4:36 p.m.

I can see this would be a very good advertising medium for Pepto Bismol or Immodium.