Emily Badger's Wonkblog post nicely illustrates the fundamental question that public officials fail to consider when accepting alcohol advertising on public transportation: Is it really worth it? Exposing kids to unhealthy messages on a public accommodation on their way to and from school is unethical, if not unconscionable.
Moreover, Badger notes that "unlike with other kinds of advertising, you can't flip the channel or turn the page." Indeed, OUTFRONT Media - the contract advertiser for NYC public transit - brags in its sales materials that it can deliver a "completely captive audience" to advertisers.
This is even more disturbing when we consider that alcohol is a prime risk factor the three leading causes of death among young people: accidents, homicide, and suicide. In fact, alcohol consumption is THE leading factor worldwide for death, disease, and disability among young people ages 10-24.
That's why we have assembled a coalition of over 120 organizations calling for the MTA to remove alcohol advertising from NYC Public Transit.
Dr. David Hemenway - the Director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center - has stated, "a nation may be judged by how well it protects its children."
By this measure, NYC is falling short. It's time for us to do better.
Please take action today.