Aug
02

amNY can’t have it both ways on subway ads

By

amnycoveraug2.jpg

This cover is wrong on so many levels.

Usually, I’ll leave the amNY bashing to this guy. But, hey, it’s the subway.

Anyway, here’s the story. This morning, in my efforts to navigate the 68th St./Hunter College stop on the East Side, I noticed the cover of today’s amNY. It screamed at me: “Ads gone wild. Has surge in subway advertising gone too far?”

With a knowing chuckle, I picked up the paper, and the articles did not disappoint. There was one article about how the MTA has increased its ad revenue by $34 million over the last ten years and is continuing to explore creative advertising trends.

The other story, answering the question posed on the cover, was a whopping 194 words, and the answer was a resounding no. Straphangers – and, yes, amNY used the plural even though the one straphanger they interviewed was a 17-year-old from Jersey City – don’t seem to mind the advertising especially if it draws in more revenue for the MTA.

Shoddy journalism aside – one New Jersey teenager doesn’t count as a representative sample of straphangers – I want to take amNY to task for this cover. Clearly, they were trying to stir up a debate as they did last week when they seemed to be so outraged over the fare hike. But you can’t have it both ways. You can’t bemoan a fare hike and be unwilling to accept more subway advertising. So what if there are Westin Hotel ads in Grand Central? If that means more money for the MTA and, thus, better service for us, then good.

As if to prove my point, the commute on the East Side IRT during rush hour is terrible. I had to get to a doctor’s office on the far reaches of the Upper East Side this morning. Negotiating Union Square is terrible, and it took me five minutes just to exit the station as 68th St. We need a subway line, and the MTA needs money. If advertising helps, I’m much more in favor of that than I am of cutting EMTs in the subways.

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On a side note, the first story about advertising in the subways features a few interesting comments from Roco Krsulic, head of the MTA’s real estate and advertising department. Krsulic supported Norman Seabrook’s plan from last week:

Krsulic believes that more companies will cash in on new customers by dominating stations in targeted areas of the city with new forms of advertisement, such as the first ever Bluetooth interactive billboard used in the Westin campaign.

“Coors Light may be very much interested in 161st Street Yankee Stadium, but a vendor like Donna Karan might be much more interested in 34th Street Herald Square,” Krsulic said.

Well, hey! That’s exactly what I said. Let’s see it happen.



Categories : MTA Economics

4 Responses to “amNY can’t have it both ways on subway ads”

  1. Chris says:

    And not only that, but their feature on Westin’s takeover of the Shuttle made it seem like this was a brand new, cutting-edge development in subway advertising – when at least two other advertisers have already done this in the past year.

  2. philphil says:

    Can’t we get advertisers to “adopt” individual stations in the form of sponsoring regular maintenance and cleaning? I’d have no problem with the advertising if it was delivered to me in a pleasant environment.

  3. peter says:

    D O Z E N S of advertisers have done what is called “Station Domination” campaigns in dozens of stations for a number of years. Spring St. is a favorite. The Shuttle has had interior wraps several times in the last couple years. Blootooth ads are a logical next step.

    AMNY has a lot of nerve complaining about advertising clutter on the Subway when they leave piles of their papers on landings, next to turnstiles – on TOP of turnstiles, and in wire racks chained to NYCT railings & columns. Not to mention the huge increase in the amount of flammable litter that the throwaways, Metro & AMNY, have created in the subway and elsewhere.

  4. Peter, that’s brilliant. I didn’t even think of that! amNY (and Metro) must be the number one source of litter in the subways. Those publications are basically just ads anyway.

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