Philly Transit Authority Says GTA IV Ads Will Stay

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.

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