After publicly rejecting requests that the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Agency (MBTA) remove ads for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, GM Daniel Grabauskas had a change of heart. M and AO rated game ads are no longer allowed on Boston transit lines.
After meeting with lawyers, Grabauskas decided that if it’s legal to ban X-rated movie ads, it’s legal to ban mature game ads too. “We don’t want to offend our riders,” Grabauskas said.
On November 21st, the MBTA had rejected requests to remove the ads, stating that it wasn’t their job to regulate content. “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 Grand Theft Auto ads earned the MBTA $114,000 US through to November 30th. It’s likely they would not have collected the full amount if they had pulled the ads while the campaign was still ongoing.
“We are thrilled that the MBTA has been so responsive to community concerns,” said Susan Linn, co-founder of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. “The children of Boston can now ride the MBTA without being targets for advertising that glorifies violence.”
Linn added that the decision “sends a strong message to the videogame industry that public property cannot be used to promote violence to children. We hope that other cities will follow suit.”
Source: Boston Herald