The mayors of Boston and Cambridge have joined nearly 60 other community leaders in signing a letter asking the Boston transit officials to remove Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories ads from subway trains.
“At a time of escalating concerns about youth violence in the Boston area, it is unconscionable that the MBTA would feature advertising for a violent video game,” the letter reads. The petitioners demand that the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) remove the existing ads and vow not to advertise any games not suitable for children under 17 years of age in the future.
Citing free speech, the MBTA claims that it is not up to them to regulate any products, their job is to make sure the ads themselves are not distasteful. “As offensive as anyone may find the product being advertised, it’s not the MBTA’s role to regulate any products, whether they are movies, music, websites, books, or video games,” said Joe Pesaturo, spokesman for the MBTA.
The four-week ad campaign covers 100 Green Line street cars, raising over $114,000 in ad revenue for the MBTA.