In Boston, Clean Air Is More Controversial than Drunk Naked Chicks
The same city that has yet to ban ads of half-naked women pushing alcohol has just pulled the plug on an ad from climate change activists 350.org that calls Senator Scott Brown out on his vote to gut the Clean Air Act. The poster-size ads were crowd-funded, with the majority of funding coming from local citizens, and were set to run at various T stops, which is why it’s the local transit authority (MBTA) that has made the decision to ban it, calling the ad “too controversial.”
Warning, controversial ad ahead:
Um, okay. What is controversial about this ad? According to the MBTA, criticism of Brown’s vote is too much for T riders to handle.
“The MBTA only rejects about two ads a year–usually ads containing drugs or borderline nudity–but they’ve decided that a citizen-funded attempt to hold Scott Brown accountable for his vote to gut the Clean Air Act is unacceptable for public consumption,” 350.org’s Jamie Henn said in an email.
Ads that have NOT been pulled by MBTA include an ad that’s currently up featuring half-naked women and alcohol (state legislation banning liquor ads on publicly owned property is currently being considered for the 2nd time in three years), and a Judgment Day ad paid for by a vehemently anti-gay group (see below):
Although the move seems to be pretty clearly politically motivated, rather than take on the MBTA, 350.org is opting to go around them. The group has found a local agency willing to pull billboards of the ad around the city on bikes, and the media coverage of the MBTA’s decision is likely to have more people seeing the ads than would have initially.
In fact, the MBTA may already be re-thinking its decision. “After a week of no responses (and many messages later) the MBTA folks called us back and said that they never made an official decision about banning the ad because it’s too political (though that’s what they told us last week – hmmm) and are re-opening the ad for review,” 350.org’s Phil Aroneanu says. “That doesn’t mean they won’t ban it anyway, but at least they’re taking a second look.”
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