Beware of the closing doors: Which NYC subway ads bother you the most?

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.

Do I have your attention?

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?

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73 Responses to Beware of the closing doors: Which NYC subway ads bother you the most?

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    Holy crap, those “My Generation” ads that papered the subways like a month ago. (Remember when?) I seriously thought the show was on public-access or online or something.

    They showcased the worst out-of-context lines (“I’m done paying for your mistakes, Dad”) with obviously Photoshopped/terribly lit stills. I like to think the New York’s subway patrons led the charge in not watching the show, leading to its too-long two-episode run.

    Thank God I don’t have to stare at Jamie King smirking off to the side letting me know her wedding ring comes off. (Seriously, you’re 2D. What am I supposed to do with that information?)

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