Surprise! Denver Transit Authority Votes to Allow M-rated Game Ads

GTA ads can remain on buses and trains in the Denver area.

As reported by the Rocky Mountain News, directors of the Regional Transportation District (RTD) rejected a campaign led by the Parents Television Council and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood to ban ads for games rated M and above.

Similar bans are already in place in Boston and Portland, Oregon. As in Boston, it was a series of ads for GTA: Vice City Stories which prompted the call for future restrictions. Currently the RTD only excludes advertising for tobacco products.

According to the Rocky Mountain News, the Operations, Customer Service and Marketing Committee of the RRD recommended the ban. But the board, after meeting with an attorney in private, voted 12-3 to allow the game ads. Said board member John Tayer:

It was a tough decision because I think our hearts as a board were with trying to limit exposure to advertisements that promote violence. But the overwhelming weight of the legal advice was that if we pursued this, we would face an uphill battle in court.

ESA representative Peggi O’Keefe spoke to the RTD board, calling the ban:

…both unnecessary and unconstitutional. This proposal . . . would restrict fully protected expression on the basis of content,” she said. “Such restrictions are constitutionally impermissible.

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