Click through the slideshow to see what kinds of advertising material BART prohibits.
The ads a BART rider comes across in San Francisco are oftentimes vast in its variety, and sometimes uncanny in its ability to tap into the cultural zeitgeist of the Bay Area.
“Looks! It’s the oatmilk ad you read when your phone battery dies on the train,” says one such ad for Oatly, the trendy, non-dairy milk alternative.
But other ads that have appeared on the transit system have not been as innocuous. In 2018, BART was under fire twice for running inflammatory ad campaigns which upset many passengers. The controversial ads were paid for by groups characterized as anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic, respectively.
In each instance, a BART spokesperson at the time said the transit agency did not endorse the ads. However, the transit agency could also not reject the ads on the grounds of First Amendment rulings.
In response to the scrutiny, BART’s board of directors voted to modify the advertising guidelines. The revised guidelines passed in Dec. 2018. The new rules extensively detail the kinds of prohibited ads on the transit system.
The most noteworthy of these modifications is to the “Inappropriate, Offensive, or Violent Content” category: Prohibited ad content of this type includes “material that belittles or is dismissive of genocide, war crimes, or slavery that is so objectionable under contemporary community standards.”
This kind of explicit language didn’t appear in guidelines of the past. With the new rules, there are now seven types of ads you will never see on your commute using BART.
Click through the slideshow to see each type of ad that will not fly with the transit system.
Nikki Tran is an SFGATE intern. Email: email@example.com
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/7-ads-guidelines-rules-BART-controversial-14301120.php.