No Pope Ads for SEPTA?

Policy meant to discourage anti-Islam ads may also hinder papal welcome.

septa pope

SEPTA’s new ad policy may mean the agency never has to carry ads condemning Islam again — but it might also keep advertisers from welcoming Pope Francis and the Democratic National Convention when they visit Philly in the next year. 

PlanPhilly’s Jim Saksa notes the new policy “bans all ads on religious, political and social issues.”

That means any advertisement related to the Vicar of Rome’s visit – or the DNC in 2016 – will probably be verboten, says Gino Benedetti, General Counsel for SEPTA.

Benedetti says SEPTA will “remain true” to the standards and is “willing to forgo the revenue” from ads that violate the broad new advertising policy, but adds that SEPTA will try to work with the rejected advertisers, “to see if there is a way to make the ad compliant with the policy.”

Whereas an ad welcoming His Holiness to Philadelphia wouldn’t be kosher, a banner promoting a Catholic organization’s welcoming event, open to the public – papists and apostates alike – would be copacetic.

As Saksa notes: “SEPTA is toeing the line between enforcing the policy and working around the policy. If SEPTA takes a step too far around that delicate line, the agency could find itself once again fighting a losing battle against offensive advertisers.”