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This just in from the MTA after this morning’s meeting in which the board unanimously agreed on amendments to its ad policy:
“At its regularly scheduled meeting today, the MTA Board modified the MTA’s Advertising Standards, which were last addressed by the Board in 1997.
The modification was prompted by a recent federal court decision that determined that MTA’s “no demeaning standard” – a standard that had prohibited ads containing “images or information that demean an individual or group of individuals on account of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation” – was unconstitutional.
In determining how best to respond to the court’s decision, the MTA considered limiting the use of ad spaces in and on buses, subways, trains and stations across the board to ads of a commercial nature. However, many board members believed that ad space in our transportation system, in addition to serving as a very important source of supplemental revenues to support transportation, should continue to serve as a vehicle for a wide variety of communications, including ads of a non-commercial nature that express viewpoints on matters of public concern.
Accordingly, the MTA Board has decided to continue its policy of permitting both commercial and noncommercial advertisements, including ads expressing viewpoints on issues of the day. Of course, paid viewpoint ads contain the views of their sponsors, and we want to make sure that our customers do not confuse them with expression of MTA’s views. To underscore the point, our revised advertising policy will require sponsors who submit viewpoint ads on political, religious or moral issues or related matters to include a disclaimer on each such ad that makes this clear. Each such ad will be required to prominently include this disclaimer:
This is a paid advertisement sponsored by [Sponsor]. The display of this advertisement does not imply MTA’s endorsement of any views expressed.
For the full statement, click here.