[TTC = Toronto Transit Commission = Toronto's public transit agency.]
The TTC has rejected a bid by the Ashley Madison Agency, a website that promotes adultery, to wrap a streetcar with ads promoting the controversial site, along with the slogan, “Life is short. Have an affair.”
The commission’s advertising review committee, comprising six city councillors, made the decision this afternoon after being made aware of the potential ad campaign by the TTC’s ad agency, CBS Outdoor.
“This is an issue about community standards,” said Councillor Joe Mihevc, a TTC commissioner. “We are, at the end of the day, a public body and the citizens of Toronto own the TTC. In this case, the reason why I voted not to accept the ads was because they violate a basic community standard around cheating.”
“When it’s a core fundamental value around cheating and lying, we’re not going to let those kind of ads go on.”
Yesterday the TTC revealed it was considering running the ads on one streetcar, a proposition that evoked criticism from pro-family organizations.
“People are generally outraged by that type of a lifestyle and to advertise it in such a public fashion, in my opinion, is wrong, said Dave Quist, executive director of the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada.
Earlier today, Noel Biderman, CEO of Ashley Madison, offered to drop the fare by 50 cents for any rides taken on a streetcar with ads for his company.
TTC spokesperson Brad Ross said such a proposition was impossible, given that TTC fares are policy decisions.