Dec. 4, 2008
As mentioned in the November 12, 2008 Daily Buzz, the Washington, DC Metro Transit system has been in some deep heat from riders and onlookers alike for their recent advertisements on the back of buses. The advertisements are a part of the American Humanist Association campaign that says: "Why believe in a God? Be good for goodness sake."
According to a recent article from The Washington Examiner, the Metro Transit Agency has received such complaints like, "May all your atheist buses break down." Metro spokeswoman Candace Smith responded to these complaints by saying,
"As a public agency, Metro must observe the First Amendment with respect to the acceptance of commercial advertising," Smith said. "Although we understand that feelings and perceptions will vary among individuals within the community, we cannot reject advertising because an individual, or group, finds it inappropriate or offensive.
Metro spokeswoman Smith said the number of complaints represents a small fraction of its ridership, which averages more than a million trips on buses and trains daily.
"Do we think we're losing customers over this?" Smith said. "I doubt it."
She said Metro responds to each complaint, urging those who complain to contact the advertiser directly. Or, she said, "They can pony up money for counter advertising."
It is an attitude like this that sends a clear sign that the Metro does not take note or consider how offensive an advertising campaign can be to their patrons.