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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

No to TVs in subway cars

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On Wednesday, TTC commissioners voted 4 to 3 against a pilot project that would place TV screens with endless commercial loops in our subway cars. Hats off to councillors Adam Giambrone, Olivia Chow, Joe Mihevc, and Howard Moscoe for doing the right thing. If you’d like to know more about the debate surrounding TV ads on the TTC then go to this web site.

We at Spacing think this is a smart move because it reflects the public’s weariness of ad encroachment. Canadians see or hear over 3,000 advertisements a day (about one every 20 seconds). A recent Forrester Research study found that 81% per cent of us would love a device to skip/block TV ads. On the subway, you don’t have control of the TV remote.

The next possible form of bundled infrastructure the outdoor ad industry will try to buy its way into is tunnel advertising. Check out the tunnel ad experiments going on in each of these cities: San Francisco, Atlanta, and Boston.

Sadly, each article contains very little public commentary or critical analysis. There are more words used to malign anyone who dislikes this form of ad creep. Check out this quote from Boston University’s dean of communications:

“Some civic do-gooder types might rattle cages because they see cities becoming one more Disneyworld of commercialism. But I think most passengers get used to it.”