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Beer ads on city buses out of control?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Fanaticus, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Fanaticus

    Fanaticus Member

    Jan 19, 2011

    MADISON, Wis. - Beer cans printed on a piece of vinyl wrapped around city buses are advertisements getting a lot of attention.

    On the WISC-TV/Channel 3000 Facebook page, Tina D'Orazio asked, "There is already too much drinking in this state. Why do we have to promote more?"

    While Jeff Schoonover wrote, "What’s the big deal? It brings in revenue for the city."

    The controversy is prompting Madison Metro Transit to make policy changes. But it will have to work around the First Amendment because beer ads have every right to be on buses.

    "I definitely noticed it. I mean, it stood out compared to the other bus advertisements," said one city bus rider.

    The ads cost upwards of $6,000 to make and another $3,000 to put on the prime bus spot for a months time. Pabst Blue Ribbon bought three, nearly just as many as last year.

    "People did see them, but they weren't really as intense as they are this year, and we didn't have any calls last year," said Mick Rusch, marketing and customer services manager for Metro Transit.

    This time, Rusch reported 10 callers concerned with the subject matter on buses that can drive students to school and around a state with a documented drinking reputation. But the beer ads can't be banned.

    "We were very limited, based on our policy, to prohibit certain types of advertising because it's a public forum and there are First Amendment concerns to that," explained Adam Woulf, Madison's alcohol policy coordinator.

    Only vulgar and offensive ads can be cut. So, Metro Transit is making a change.

    "We just think we need more control and some oversight over this process so we can navigate that slippery slope and improve this program moving forward," Rusch said.

    He said he will hire an in-house advertising program director versus the current third-party company to make decisions that should better affect the city.

    Another bus rider said, "Advertisements on a city bus is money toward the city, so I guess it's not entirely a bad thing."

    Metro Transit makes about $450,000 a year off advertising that winds up in its operating budget. As for the PBR ads, the business paid for five months worth and the ads will be on the buses through December.
  2. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

    Mar 25, 2006
    Mars Florida
    What's the big deal? If you are easily offended by a beer ad then you should poke out your eyes with a searing hot needle and problem is solved. People need to just ignore things they don't like. Kind of like sign forums. Some people, sheesh.
  3. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    We manage the entire bus ad program for the city buses here. However, the bus system is not run by the city, it is run by a private company and co-managed by a city council. Since it's privatley owned, there is no right to free speech or anything which gives the city/owners a bit more flexibility in what they can say is or is not allowed. We do not allow any tobacco, adult store, stripper clubs, or political ads on the buses. Alcohol would probably get denied since we are in the deep south bible belt and have a major university here.

    We have allowed some things that push it a little though like some some of the Jimmy Johns ads like the attached (this one got some comments lol) and well the new no-smoking ads that we recently put on showing all the scarred people were nice.

    Attached Files:

  4. SD&F

    SD&F Very Active Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    If poeple don't like it and it is not hurting them directly, MOVE ON and go whine about something that directly hurts you.
  5. showcase 66

    showcase 66 Very Active Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    I see nothing wrong with that wrap. Not much of a PBR guy so the ad doesnt appeal to me. Now if it was like the summer beer commercials on tv then I can see some being upset with it. Not everyone likes there kids to see all that.

    Now if you want to see what is over the top/edgy. Go to Vegas and walk the strip. Most anywhere else there would be a huge outcry for change.
  6. LenR

    LenR Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    Why is that woman standing there blocking the pretty beer cans?

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