CBS Outdoor removes alcohol ads
after San Francisco audit
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
January 17, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - The media company responsible for
advertising in San Francisco's bus shelters began to aggressively
move alcohol ads away from schools today after a media watchdog
group and city leaders threatened action.
CBS Outdoor had been displaying advertisements for Yellow Tail
Chardonnay, Glenfiddich scotch, Miller beer and Bailey's Irish
cream within 500 feet of nine schools, according to Bruce Livingston,
the executive director of the Marin Institute, an alcohol watchdog
group that audited the ads in three of the city's districts.
The placement of alcohol ads in those locations was in violation
of the company's contract with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation
Nathaniel Ford, the agency's executive director, announced today
that he would be seeking proposals from other advertising companies
for a new contract in December and that the agency is considering
banning alcohol ads throughout the entire city.
The ads caught the attention of the MTA, as well as San Francisco
Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, after the Marin Institute conducted
its survey and found 15 advertisements in violation of the contract.
Livingston said that before the institute could even submit its
findings to CBS Outdoor this morning, the company had already
started moving the ads.
"It's a shame that they had to have a watchdog group tell
them their ads were in obvious violation,'' Livingston said. "It's
obvious that they don't have a mechanism in place to monitor where
they're placing their alcohol ads.
"They're either incapable or indifferent when it comes to
monitoring their own actions,'' he added.
The Marin Institute discussed the impact of alcohol ads in a
report published following the San Francisco audit.
"The ads endanger children and youth through exposure to
harmful alcohol messages,'' the report read. "Kids exposed
to alcohol ads are more likely to drink, and drink to excess.''
MTA workers, in an effort to enforce Ford's executive order to
remove the 3-foot by 5-foot ads, are searching for additional
advertisements that may be in violation.
"We are committed to enforcing our contract and keeping
alcohol ads away from schools,'' said Ford. "I thank the
Marin Institute for bringing this important matter to our attention.''
Stephen Shinn, a vice president with CBS Outdoor, said today
the company is doing its best to correct the mistake. "We
are indeed surveying the city to make sure there are no alcohol
ads on bus shelters near schools,'' Shinn said. "If we discover
that there were ads within 500 feet of schools, they have been
removed or will be removed. Everything should be removed by tomorrow.''
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