Oh those revenue generators at the NYC MTA Subway offices.

They smartly rejected a subway ad campaign that maligned Muslims, but recently accepted a campaign from Amazon to promote its original web series about an America that went fascist. They say it conforms to their transit ad rules. Yes, some people just love rules. The new MTA advertising standards call for the MTA’s ads to maintain “a safe and welcoming environment for all… customers.” What better way to say WELCOME than with a rising sun and Reichsadler eagle. At least it is not a swastika.

I can understand having posters to promote the series in subway rail cars. I thoroughly enjoyed Philip Roth’s novel, The Plot Against America, about a fascist America. I am sure I would enjoy episodes of The Man in the High Castle. But I am disturbed by covering an entire subway train with fascist symbols.

Just think of the passengers that survived fascist regimes. What will this ad campaign trigger in them? Koreans, Taiwanese, Chinese, Pilipinos, and other Asian Americans who endured rising sun fascism; Jews, Romanis, former Soviets, Poles and other Americans who fought European Nazis.

sybway2Amazon and their ad campaign managers are smart. They probably hoped that this subway campaign would create controversy and create free viral publicity for the series. Who cares about feelings when there is money to made. Just as I am posting this in the hopes of generating page views. Two can play this game.

MTA spokesmodel Adam Lisberg said that this subway shuttle (S Train) vinyl wrap ends on December 14, last last day of Hanukkah. Thanks Mr. Lisberg.

I did not get a chance to contact Richard Sauer (braten?), General Counsel of OUTFRONT MEDIA, about the campaign. Amazon’s advertising campaign was arranged through OUTFRONT Media.


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  • BREAKING NEWS: 11/24/2015 16:00… after this posting (but not becuase of it).. Amazon had suspended the subway ad campaign.

    NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio took the bold move to criticize facism, and issued a statement saying, “While these ads technically may be within MTA guidelines, they’re irresponsible and offensive to World War II and Holocaust survivors, their families, and countless other New Yorkers. Amazon should take them down.”

  • It would also help to know how many steps or flights of stairs are necessary to enter/exit a station. Many people can handle a few steps or max one flight of stairs but couldn’t possibly climb multiple flights. Or maybe on a good day someone feels up to handling a flight of stairs but not several. But MTA and this article persist in defining accessibility only in terms of wheelchairs. And good luck finding out how many flights of stairs are necessary without actually going to the station and then it’s too late and you’ve strained your body and will be left in pain for days or weeks. This just happened to a family member. But MTA won’t give out this information. The people at the accessibility info lines only have info about this all-or-nothing definition of accessibility. I’m tired of it.

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