If you live in New York and ride the subways with your family, don’t be surprised if your six-year-old asks for a vibrator or a new pair of handcuffs for his next birthday. Pictures of these and similar “toys” will now be appearing in colorful displays on the city’s subways as advertisements for a luxury sex toy company called Unbound.
The New York Post reports that the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) reversed its position that images were too racy after the company accused the agency of unequal treatment, arguing that the subways are already adorned with ads for erectile dysfunction treatments and breast enhancement.
Jon Weinstein, a spokesman for the MTA, is quoted as saying:
The MTA has always and will continue to ensure that our policies are applied evenly and fairly.
We’re going to direct our advertising partner to work with the company toward a resolution that is agreeable to all parties and allows their ads on the system.
That decision might be defensible if all Unbound’s ads were all comprised of playful cartoony images, but some of the ones depicted at the company’s website feature nudity and/or language that would be age-inappropriate for young children and potentially offensive to some adults. Does the company plan to display those kinds of images for straphangers’ consumption?
The reaction of Unbound’s CEO to the MTA’s change of heart suggests the matter hasn’t been resolved. Says Polly Rodriguez, according to the Post:
We’re looking forward to learning what this means for this campaign, and we haven’t yet heard what the terms of this will be.
We want to make certain we’re not just putting a Band-Aid on this issue, but really making an effort to change the policies that resulted in this dispute in the first place.
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