February 15, 2006

METRO AD OFFENSIVE. We thought most people like us usually ride the bus or Metrorail half asleep barely noticing the advertisements. Wrong. Well the thin-skinned better brace themselves because WMATA is about to boost the types of ads placed on trains.

To raise revenue, WMATA in March will start placing ads in the tunnels. As trains speed by the ads, riders will get a sense that the figures, text, whatever on the ads are moving, like a flip-book cartoon. Then in April, Metro staff will ask the board to endorse a contract for advertising on video monitors on trains, said WMATA General Manager Richard White.

More revenue. Cool graphics. Fewer fare hikes. We have no problem. But one recent complaint about ad content, for us, is hard to believe.

The allegedly offensive ad goes something like this:

"New words defined. "Sumpnspicious" an unattended package or odd, unusual behavior that is reported to a bus driver, train operator(via intercom at the end of rail car), station manager or Metro Police at (202) 962-2121".
Comment from Metro discussion: "Since I had never heard the word in question, I immediately went to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and to my surprise it was not in the dictionary. Would you tell me where to find this word or was your agency being obnoxious and degrading to a certain race? Being Black myself, I found the word quite offensive. I don't consider myself to be an illiterate person, nor do I believe the majority of the Black population that travel Metro's Green Line to be illiterate either. It would have seemed, with the number of minority employees your agency has, this word would have been offensive to you, as well as to them."

NAT GIVES NAT DEAL A THUMBS UP. The Washington Post reports that DC CFO Natwar Ghandi says stadium lease is kosher and he can sell it to Wall Street. Stadium debt will get investment grade rating, Ghandi predicts.

3 comments:

urbannomad said...

Guess I'll have to see it for myself, but ads in the tunnels? Seems like it would make me feel sick (literally) to have text and figures flying by on both sides of me in a small tunnel? Sort of like a really bad, "scary" carnival ride.

Anonymous said...

"Would you tell me where to find this word or was your agency being obnoxious and degrading to a certain race?.. I don't consider myself to be an illiterate person, nor do I believe the majority of the Black population that travel Metro's Green Line to be illiterate either"

what a load of bs. Last time i check i didn't find "fo shizzle" in Merriam-Webster. I don't think metro was trying to conclude that certain mannerism of a particular jargon are unintelligable and are used usually by illiterates. If the author truly felt that is was, i wonder he/she must think whenever he/she hears some of the most popular music (across all ethnic background) that comes from the black urban community. Perhaps that guy might want to use www.urbandictionary.com

Anonymous said...

Clearly, any ad that contains phonetically humorous spelling is racist. Perhaps the font was racist, also.