SEPTA to Ban Controversial Ads

Action comes after buses carried anti-Islam messages for a month.

An employee of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority raises his fist in the air, Friday, Oct. 28, 2005, while entering a SEPTA bus depot in north Philadelphia. | AP Photo, Joseph Kaczmarek

An employee of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority raises his fist in the air, Friday, Oct. 28, 2005, while entering a SEPTA bus depot in north Philadelphia. | AP Photo, Joseph Kaczmarek

SEPTA won’t be taking any more anti-Islam ads — but it won’t take any ads for guns or tobacco products on local buses, either.

The transit agency’s board is expected today to approve a new policy sharply restricting the types of ads riders will see while on local buses and trains. Among the types of content being banned: Anything involving politics, viewpoints about “economic, political, religious, historical or social issues,” content that is “disparaging, disreputable or disrespectful” to various individuals and groups, tobacco and gun advertising, and anything that “that threatens the
public image of SEPTA.”

“The new advertising policy comes after SEPTA was forced to run anti-islam ads following a court ruling,” CBS Philly reminds us.”This didn’t sit well with people, but since SEPTA accepted other political and other controversial ads in the past, a federal judge ruled that the transit authority was legally required to display it. SEPTA did so on 84 buses, receiving a total of $30,000.”

The new policy would also amend the agency’s contract with Titan Outdoor LLC, which sells the advertising space that SEPTA makes available.

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