Monday, June 06, 2005

Objectionable Advertising on Metro

Greetings Metro Board and Mr. Langdon, Viacom Outdoor Sales,
I write with some concern regarding an advertisement appearing on a Metro train (red line, I believe). The nature of the ad was to downplay the danger of obesity, questioning such dangers as "hype?" At the top was a news clip stating a release by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) which indicates that some effects of obesity may have been overstated or exaggerated. The ad then followed with words such as "epidemic," crossed out. At the bottom of this list of crossed out words was the word in bold red, "hype?"
I noticed this ad as I departed the train and was not able to see the sponsor. I strongly believe an advertisement of this nature does nothing to serve the public but only confuses the issue of good public health. I would like to know which organization paid for this ad so I may take my concern directly to them. I should also caution the Board of Directors to enact greater controls for ad content standards. Ads such as this could generate negative PR, which Metro would be wise to avoid. Does Metro have an official with authority to screen or reject advertising sold by Viacom Outdoor? If not, I would suggest working with Viacom Outdoor to create one or implement strict guidelines to insure that messages on trains truly serve the public if they are not selling a product. We all should recognize that serious health risks do accompany obesity and to make light of those risks is harmful and offensive to many. I appreciate your timely response to these concerns and your swift removal of this attack ad on public health.


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