Pittsburgh CoR Bus Ad is Turned Down

The Port Authority of Allegheny County wants advertisers.

If your business or organization is looking for big exposure while moving minds, then you’ve come to the right place. Advertisers use Port Authority vehicle and station ads to promote everything from financial institutions to florists.

They even have a new program that will be putting audio noise ads in the buses.

Port Authority is trying new forms of advertising to help generate more revenue for bus and T operations.  We recently began testing onboard audio ads at five stop locations in Downtown, Oakland and the South Side. We understand you may not be used to hearing ads on the bus, but new and different forms of advertising are tools we can use to support our system without raising fares or cutting services to save money.

So with this policy in mind, the Coalition of Reason Pittsburgh, decided to post a billboard on the side of buses that simply reads: “Don’t believe in God?  You are not alone.”

Such bus ads, as well as billboards, have been appearing all over the United States in recent years thanks to the outreach of the United Coalition of Reason. It is not telling anyone to change their belief or belittling those of faith.  It simply informs the public that there are resources for the 20% of adults (and 30% of those under 30) that are atheists/agnostics/humanists/etc.

UnitedCoR has overseen campaigns in 35 states and the District of Columbia. The states are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

But, in Pittsburgh, the very company that is looking for “new and different forms of advertising are tools we can use to support our system without raising fares or cutting services to save money” rejected the ad.   The Post-Gazette explains:

According to the complaint, Port Authority attorney Michael Cetra rejected the proposed ad, indicating that the agency doesn’t run “non-commercial” material.

What?  In what sense do they not run “non-commercial” ads?  Here a few from the buses around town.





Tackle The Flu; Get Vaccinated

Tackle The Flu; Get Vaccinated

Even on their own website they show CCAC as a standard ad.  Since when has CCAC become a commercial business?

CCAC from PAT Website

The inability of PAT to consider the COR ad resulted in the adoption a new policy, 6 months after COR submitted their request.  The new policy adopted April 27, 2012 states, in part:

Advertisements that promote the existence or non-existence of a supreme deity, deities, being or beings; that address or promote a specific religion, religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs; that directly quote or cite to scriptures, religious texts or texts involving religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs; or are otherwise religious in nature.

My guess is that this is not the ad that they found upsetting…



About SamStone

A Steel City Skeptic who thinks science and reason is the light that we should follow to find our way in this world.
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