Much has been made in the press recently about a certain Internet dating service that encourages people to have affairs. They managed to get lots of free publicity with a proposed total wrap of streetcars, but the TTC’s advertising review panel (a subset of the full Commission) turned them down claiming that encouraging adultery is just plain wrong.
Whether the TTC likes it or not, adultery is legal as is the provision of a “dating service” to hook up would-be partners. This would not be the first such service to advertise on the TTC. LavaLife ran ads in subway cars, and there are dating service posters in some subway stations. Somehow, I doubt that everyone using these services tells their spouse/partner what they are doing.
Subway ads are running right now for the movie “It’s Complicated” whose plot involves a love triangle between a woman, her ex, and her new boyfriend. The posters include a tasteful view of Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin in bed. I don’t know whether their characters are married at the point in the film where this scene occurs, but that’s hardly the point. If the TTC is going to start censoring ads based on behaviour that is legal, they will have to be consistent.
Many people feel that lottos and booze simply involve addictive, anti-social behaviour and encourage people to spend money they don’t have. Should these ads be banned?
On the good taste front, anyone who has visited Bloor Station recently will know that the station identity is almost completely masked in large places by a campaign for Amex. It’s an odd coincidence that the TTC will be considering a report about the proposed renaming of Dupont Station as “Casa Loma” which contains the following observation:
TTC subway stations are, first and foremost, transportation facilities, not advertising vehicles. As people travel through our system, they need to know where they are geographically, in the context of the roads and neighbourhoods within Toronto. The names of subway stations are selected to give the clearest possible information to customers as they travel on the TTC.
Someone at the TTC should tell their ad agency that disguising a subway station to the point it is unrecognizable is unacceptable. Count this post as the first of five complaints needed to launch a review of Amex’s adverising. Four more shouldn’t be hard to find, and mine might not even be the first.
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