Given the uproar surrounding the latest round of MTA fare increases, it’s reasonable that New York City trains, buses and subways be used as advertising space to generate revenue. In general, staring at a print advertisement for a few minutes is not the worst way to kill time while traveling.
Still, a line should be drawn when it comes to the types of ads being displayed.
There’s Dr. Zizmor and his rainbow-infused ads promising newfound beauty via chemical treatments. Or you might have to spend your morning commute avoiding the “before” pictures of a bunion procedure. There are also beer and liquor ads. (A report about the prevalence of alcohol ads in the NYC subway sheds light on youth exposure. ) And recently, TBS outfitted a number of shuttle trains with floor-to-ceiling ads promoting the Major League Baseball playoffs. And don’t forget about annoying ads that rely upon subway-related puns to sell products (i.e. “going your way” or “last stop”).
It turns out the MTA does have limitations; last spring it rejected ads from the Working Families Party regarding the fare hike (be sure to check out the reader comments for other tragic subway ads). Want more bad examples? Here’s a blog focused entirely on the subject.
Let’s hear from you. Is staring at a bunion worse than having your child gaze at a bottle of vodka? What ranks highest on your list of the worst NYC subway ads?