Target: Gene Ribeiro, Director of MTA Promotions; Bob Keenan, Director of MTA Advertising Management; Mayor Bloomberg
Goal: Eliminate violent advertising in the subway.
Over six million people ride the New York City subway each day, many of them are children and adolescents on their way to school. Upon leaving and entering the station, they are bombarded with posters of Hollywood actors and actresses glamorizing the use of weapons.
With so many citizens of New York wanting strict gun control laws, why allow the presence of weapons to be in our faces every single day? These ads show youngsters that using weapons makes you sexy, glamorous and powerful. And because of the large volume of these violent ads, they also give the impression that using weapons is a normal part of life.
Following controversy over an anti-Jihad ad earlier this year, the MTA made the decision to be more responsible when it comes to First Amendment rights. Officials made the decision that they would have the right to turn away any ad material that could incite violence. A direct quote from the new MTA standards states that officials have the right to turn away ads that “would incite or provoke violence or other immediate breach of the peace…” How does the mainstreaming of weapons by imposing their images on us every day not incite or promote violence?
Dear Mr. Ribeiro, Mr. Keenan and Mayor Bloomberg,
With so many New Yorkers wanting strict gun control laws, why allow us to have images of weapons imposed on us every single day? Over six million New Yorkers ride the subway each day, many of whom are children and adolescents. Upon entering and exiting the station, they are exposed to countless ads depicting Hollywood actors and actresses glamorizing the use of weapons. Sometimes there are as many as five posters on a platform advertising various Hollywood movies that show actors holding weapons.
New Yorkers appreciate Mayor Bloomberg’s concern for our physical health, which is evidenced by his outlawing of smoking in many public spaces and limits on quantities of soft drinks consumed. But our physical health isn’t the only concern. What we consume in the form of advertising can be just as damaging. These posters create an unrealistic idea of gun violence for the millions of impressionable youngsters using the subway each day. The ads don’t portray the pain, suffering and instability that weapons-use create. They only show muscular men and glamorous women holding weapons, lending credence to the unrealistic perception that using weapons is somehow sexy or empowering. We urge you to limit or eliminate these violent posters in the subway.
[Your Name Here]