Nosy Neighbor: “I find this bus stop ad concerning.”

I’d like to say I had a hand in this, but P. took care of this Nosy Neighbor question herself. It started out with her video above, taken at the M55 bus stop at Church and Worth, where it looks like two women locked in an embrace finger each other — all while wearing Camper sandals from the spring/summer collection. “I find it concerning,” she wrote — and then sent an email to the MTA.

“I consider myself an open minded person — I was raised in Greenwich Village in the late ’60s, early ’70s so I’ve been introduced to lots of public displays of affection, and, in my younger years, had some myself,” P. wrote. “But at a certain level of passion, one does have some preservation of modesty and saves something for private moments. Not so for the ad playing now.

“There are children going by this stop, a day care across the street where children are taken for walks daily and a woman was sitting at the stop the other day with a child in a stroller. This imagery is appropriate for a ‘rated’ television program or film — not a bus stop.”

P. was told to reroute her email to the Department of Transportation and JCDecaux North America, which manages the advertising on city bus shelters. Those responses then said to send her complaint to legal affairs at JCDecaux, and that did the trick.

The reply did not come from the press office so I will not quote it, but an official there did say the content will be removed from the unit today. It was scheduled to end on May 19.

 
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12 Comments

  1. I feel like there are more pressing issues we should be focused on than this bus stop ad.

    Also would “P” be as offended if it was a heterosexual couple in the ad?

  2. Agree with Tribeca Dad. There is more than a whiff of homophobia here.

  3. Weighing in here since P. and I had a lot of back and forth: I actually think it never would have run if it were an obviously hetero situation — Camper is playing into the idea that lesbian sex is less serious and more playful. And of course there are more pressing issues! But nothing is mutually exclusive. We read about sports games while war rages across the planet. And I do think video advertising in public spaces is intrusive and adding to our mental fatigue. It should be eliminated altogether.

  4. I agree with P and think the ad is inappropriate for a public space where there are so many children walking by. If it was a hetero couple it obv still isn’t appropriate. Enjoying sexuality should be for at home and not for public display.

    Nobody wants to see that while walking esp with kids

  5. Thank you P. For taking the time to resolve an issue rather than sit around complaining. It reads like the MTA agreed with you. I wonder who vets the ads? The MTA or JC Decaux?

  6. Were comments about underlying homophobia deleted from this page? Hmmmm

  7. I agree wiht P, my son looked at this ad and I saw the perplex look on his face. It’s a shame when someone shares their concern they are shamed for their opinion, and making it something it is not. It’s a form of bullying. I have an opinion and so does everyone else. However when you get attack for it, you have created a space for people not to post. Thank you P

  8. Seriously?! In the 2020’s in NYC this is what we’re worried about? Ignoring the blatant homophobia, are we still that puritanical? Clearly if someone can’t explain this ad to their children adequately then they’re doing their children a disservice. I don’t intend to shelter my children that way.

  9. Thanks to P. As the ad industry evolves and placements like this (traditional OOH) offer video, I believe controls will evolve. You see this on digital platforms (eg YouTube) with a big push to ensure platforms are building controls (as much as possible) serve appropriate content based on what is known about viewers. This is not dissimilar. Most brands look carefully at their OOH placements and have some knowledge of what’s nearby and who the audience might be. Still, there is no standard / system. And, content is subjective as you can see on this thread.

    Bottom line for me: I saw it thought “that’s a bit salacious” (period). I didn’t even notice sexuality so these comments surprised me.

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