Ad Suggesting Sick People Ride Subway Pulled from Subway


The MTA is very diligent about making sure you don’t feel nervous about your subway trip — at least not because of anything you read on the walls of the train.

Some weeks back it was reported that they even censored their “Train of Thought” literary subway displays of words like “flood” and “fire” lest they provoke unpleasant associations. Now amNY reveals that a new subway ad campaign, financed by A Better Balance and promoting laws mandating paid sick leave, has been stripped of one poster, presumably because it gave offense.

MTA won’t say why they dropped the ad, which supports the same cause as the others in the campaign. But its image is of a straphanger blowing her nose, and the headline is, “You might catch more than the subway this morning.” The ad then asks, “Who is holding the pole with you in the subway?”

The idea is the get you to support paid sick days as a way of keeping diseased fellow citizens off the train, where they may inflect you with God knows what. swine flu, tuberculosis, anthrax. MTA may imagine this would disturb ridership. Maybe they should think bigger, though, and propose a cooperative campaign between A Better Balance and Purell.