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03.2012

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedAtPressTime

MBTA: ALCOHOL ADS ARE CUT OFF

  Long a staple on the sides of buses and walls of the T tunnels, ads for beer, wine and spirits will soon be a thing of the past on MBTA property. Starting July 1 the MBTA will no longer allow alcohol advertisements on its property, including in subway cars, trains and buses. The move comes as proposed legislation to ban alcohol advertising on state property gains momentum and follows a presentation by high school students from an Allston-Brighton-based substance abuse youth coalition before state Transportation Secretary Richard A. Davey and the board of directors for the department that oversees the MBTA. The MBTA already prohibits tobacco, firearms, violence, and nudity from advertisements on its property. The agency has said previously it had no plans to bar alcohol ads. But the T has been subjected to scrutiny from lawmakers and advocacy groups, including the Allston-Brighton Substance Abuse Task Force and Supporting an Alcohol Ad-Free Environment in Massachusetts (SAFE MA). This past summer, youths from SAFE MA presented the transportation secretary with postcards and petitions of support from over 3OO Bay State residents. But be careful what you wish for. The already debt-laden transit agency will likely lose $1.5 million in ad revenue in the first year of the ban. That kind of loss can only result in cuts of some kind and no one’s ever happy about that. The only other major public transit systems in the country that allow alcohol ads are those in New York City and Chicago.

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