Philly Transit Authority Says GTA IV Ads Will Stay

April 30, 2008 -
While public transit agencies in Chicago and Miami have pulled ads for Grand Theft Auto IV, it looks as if GP's local bus company will permit the ads to stay.

According to a report by all-news radio station KYW-1060, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) won't bow to (unspecified) pressure to remove the ads. From the KYW story:
SEPTA... is standing firm in its decision run the ads on hundreds of its buses...

SEPTA officials would not be interviewed, but they issued a statement saying while some might consider the game offensive, "the advertisement is not."

The ad campaign is slated to run for six weeks, with 350 posters on buses and other locations, generating $83,000 in revenue for SEPTA.

SEPTA last year was criticized for accepting ads for the movie "Hitman," ads featuring images of guns.

GP: It's not yet clear how SEPTA came to deal with the GTA IV ad issue. However, after I posted a picture of a SEPTA bus carrying a GTA IV ad last Friday, Jack Thompson, who was then in the process of persuading Miami-Dade Transit to drop its GTA IV ads, indicated he would pressure SEPTA to take a similar course of action.

In any case, if Thompson did try with SEPTA, he failed. GP has a call into SEPTA management for more details. In the meantime, it's good to see SEPTA standing firm on this issue. There are obvious First Amendment implications and, hey, SEPTA is strapped for cash. As a regional taxpayer, I'm happy to see that $83,000 in revenue coming in.

Comments

Dorkmaster Flek, the trick here is that it's technically a public resource. So the government is bound to not "filter" ads just because they don't agree with the underlying message on morality grounds.

As long as T2 ponies up the "fair market" value for the ad space, the transit system can't discriminate.

Especially when it's such benign images as 3 characters, with no guns, etc, in view at all.

There's been a few court cases about this, where groups with controversial ideas successfully sued transit advertisers for pulling their ads on "morality" grounds...
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Hell yeah, glad to see PA is standing up for itself. Makes me proud.

[...] wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptWhile public transit agencies in Chicago and Miami have pulled ads for Grand Theft Auto IV, it looks as if GP’s local bus company will permit the ads to stay.According to a report by all-news radio station KYW-1060, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) won’t bow to (unspecified) pressure to remove the ads. From the KYW story: SEPTA… is standing firm in its decision run the ads on hundreds of its buses… SEPTA officials would not be interviewed, but they issued a statement saying while some might consider the game offensive, “the advertisement is not.” The ad campaign is slated to run for six weeks, with 350 posters on buses and other locations, generating $83,000 in revenue for SEPTA. SEPTA last year was criticized for accepting ads for the movie “Hitman,” ads featuring images of guns. [...]

Kudos to Philly for standing up for free speech!

If Smackywack really wants them to remove the ad, he should pony up $83,000 and replace all the ads with his own ad. At least he would be putting his money where his mouth is.

Well.. what if they were offered $83,001 to pull them...

I highly doubt this is SEPTA sticking it to 'the man'. Good news regardless.

Philly FTW! :D

Also to add, like I said in Saturday's article, I didn't think Jack would get very far. He may hold some influence in his home state of Florida in general and Miami in particular. But anyplace else, it's a different story. To SPETA and agencies in other states, he's just one guy and an out-of-towner at that, and as such his words would carry little import.

How much First Amendment issues are there in this case though? The buses are the property of the transit authority, and as such they get to decide exactly what they want to allow advertised on it. I agree it's an issue, but it's not really a free speech issue as far as I can see.

Huzzah for SEPTA for standing up to JT and giving him the finger (figuratively).

Upon reading this headline, Nelson's "Ha ha!" popped in my head . . .

Good for Philly for having a spine :) .

So There! :P

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

w00t, finally. This is reassuring. : - ) Not everyone is scared of crazy idiots.

Hoorah, Philly.

OWNED....

Actually, I'mnot surprised about this. Philly may be known as the city of brotherly love, but they more have a "Hey! Fuck you!" attitude. So 10 - 1 says that when He-who-must-not-be-named tries to threaten them about keeping the adds up they'll come back like the scout from Team Fortress 2. Bonk!!!

I'm glad that these ads are staying up. Personally, it's because I feel much worse things are often advertised, and as long as the ads themselves aren't illegal (like smoking ads or offensive/illegal imagery) then I don't see why they would have to pull them.

Its kind of crazy that a City with a huge back slide into worst crime rates is backing this game. But then again, maybe just maybe, Some people in Philly realize that the person committing the crime is responsible for their actions and not some outside influence. *epiphany*

last I checked the murder rate in Philly has been getting worse every year since the last GTA game came out....maybe this is what the city needs.

Good for SEPTA. I'd be interested in how Jack tries to justify making them take it down.

he could use an old SUPREME COURT case "Railway Express v. New York" which allowed advertising restrictions based on the state having a "logical reason" for doing it.

But that case (while not overruled) came WAY before all the first amendment litigation we have now. It's an unused relic.

Why does everyone seem to think that this is SEPTA sticking up for R*, GTA, freedom of speech??

Am I missing something?

This is, like I said, good news... but it's almost certainly because of the revenue...

Kudos to my hometown. Also, kudos to SEPTA... my grandfather drove for SEPTA (after driving MASH units in WW2).

JT = P\/\/|\|3D I|\|T0 3PIC PH@I1!!!

Philadelphia = Resisting JT FTW!!!

SEPTA just needs the money in reality.

5 years of using the SEPTA Regional Rail and I can tell that this probably about the money. Still good for them for resisting. I'm going to keep buying those monthly Trailpasses.

I live and work in Philly, and see these ads all the time. they aren't offensive, and if you didn't know video games at all, you really wouldn't know what the thing was about. i know its called grand theft auto, but thats essentially the only major clue you get. they are alot less racey than ad's i have seen with half dressed models and saprano ads.

BUT THE CHILDREN

IF OUR CHILDREN WERE EXPOSED TO MAN ON A POSTER DOING NOTHING OFFENSIVE AT ALL IT WOULD CORRUPT THEM MORALLY AND CAUSE THEM TO SHOOT PEOPLE!

Ive seen ads on buses for movies that are violent and explicit that I myself find offensive, yet they have no problem displaying those. Another fine act of hypocrisy.

Oh well there goes jackies latest bid to protect (ie control) the world and shape it to his views.
It is good to see SEPTA showing some backbone but as mentioned earlier it is probably a matter of who is paying and how much SEPTA stands to make. So no kudos

HAHA! You suck, Jackie boy!!!!

Score one for the first amendment fuckers!

I always said Philly was a badass place.

There's a SEPTA bus stop right across the street and a train station just up the street from me.

I gotta go see what's up.

From article
"The game may be offensive, but the ad is not."
EXACTLY!!! Whodathunk? Dur dur dur!!!!!!!!
:-P

'Today Florida!, Tomorrow...er... Florida!'

Whooo hoooo! SEPTA for the Win. Smart thinking saves SEPTA from money losss and missing out on huge revenue. Never force your beliefs on your neighbor.

Thank you Philly, way to stand up for free speech.

Odds Jack-o slams them and says they were bribed by R*?

As a philly resident, college student, and gamer, while i'm glad to see the ads not being taken down, I know SEPTA will do anything for money. God knows, they get enough of mine every day. They'll sponsor anything for a buck. But, I do question the city's decision to post enormous GTA billboards in really crime ridden areas ... I feel like that's asking for bad publicity. There's a huge one at Broad St and Erie Ave in North Philly, I see it every day on the bus and wonder if it's a good idea. What happens to Rockstar the next time a kid gets shot near there?

@LaxGamer

Odds Jack-o slams them and says they were bribed by R*?


One TO forty-seven octillion, three hundred sixty-five septillion, one hundred forty-six sextillion, seven hundred eighty-nine quintillion, four hundred fifty-one quadrillion, three hundred forty-seven trillion, eight hundred ninety-four billion, six hundred fifty-seven million, eight hundred ninety-five thousand, two hundred thrity-six.

Pretty good chance he will.

When JT tries to X%#$ with SEPTA's revenues then it gets personal. Fares are high enough as it is.

Monetary motives aside, score one for the birthplace of the Constitution!

'Sides, I've always secretly suspected that Liberty City was really Philly and not New York. But that's just me.
 
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