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Thread: Subway Sponsoring

  1. #16

    Default When to stop corporate theming

    I disagree with the MTA's decision to double the amount of corporate sponsorship of the subways. I would prefer to bring back the commuter tax for non-NYC residents which Pataki eliminated.

    The government owns so many assets which could be branded. The question becomes when to stop? Should we allow corporations to sponsor $20 dollar bills? "This $20 bill bought to you by Budweiser."

    For me the defining factor is that of choice.

    In the case of television ads, the viewer has a choice. They can switch to a no-ad station, or turn the television off. For branded sports stadiums, too, there is a choice, although admittedly less attractive. The sports fan can change teams, go to a different stadium, or go to a park and play a no-ad game themselves. No one forces you to support a team or stadium.

    For many users of the MTA, however, there is no choice. The MTA is a monopoly transport system. Millions of people are forced to ride the subways each day to get to work. Without work they would not be able to feed their families. So when the MTA adopts wide-scale theming and corporate branding of subway stops and cars, it becomes a mandatory corporate message. In any other country that would be called coercion.

    The Geneva convention protects prisoners from coercion. I think our constitution, too, should contain rules prohibiting the sale of public assets in situations where the public is then given no choice but to be endure the buyer's message.
    Last edited by srijon; April 4th, 2005 at 09:00 AM. Reason: minor tweaks

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