MBTA to ban alcohol ads


The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in Boston will no longer allow alcohol ads on its property (including in subway cars, trains and buses), starting 7/1, a spokesman for the transit agency said. The move comes as proposed legislation to ban alcohol ads on Mass. state property gains momentum and follows a presentation made last month by high schoolers from an Allston-Brighton-based substance abuse youth coalition before state Transportation Secretary Richard Davey and the board of directors for the department that oversees the MBTA.

Alcohol ads are currently allowed to run, and in the past have appeared, on all MBTA property, including at transit stations and stops as well as inside and on the exterior of subway cars, trains and buses. The MBTA already prohibits tobacco, firearms, violence and nudity from ads on its property.

In subsequent discussions, Davey, former MBTA GM, and the current GM, Jonathan Davis, talked about the issue and agreed with the points raised by the youth group, spokesman Joe Pesaturo told The Boston Globe.

However, he also said the MBTA’s AOR Titan, has told the debt-laden transit agency it expects ad revenue to decline by some $1.5 million in the first full year of the alcohol ad ban.

“The company, however, says it will work diligently to find other advertisers for the available space on MBTA property,” he added.

The only other major public transit systems in the country that allow alcohol ads are those in New York City and Chicago.

RBR-TVBR observation: The good news is they are giving six months to find other advertisers. The bad news is if they indeed do lose $1.5 million in revenues, MTBA may have to make its own presentations to the board overseeing it on why fares have to be increased.