CATS releases statement on advertising policy

Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) communications and marketing director Olaf Kinard responded today with a written statement to questions originally posed by qnotes last Friday.

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Kinard’s original response to FOX Charlotte’s Monday report was that CATS doesn’t “get into what ifs,” to which we responded, “Why ‘what ifs’ are important and why CATS needs to clarify their policy.”

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That statement is published in its entirety below:

The policy that you inquired about has been in place for over 10 years with no significant changes being made to the portion of the policy that your inquiry mentions. The recent change was simply to allow advertisement on the exterior of CATS vehicles, under the same policy standards that the interior of vehicles has been under for a decade.

CATS must respectfully disagree with your contention that the policy is vague. Rather, the single clause of a single sentence quoted by your email should be considered in the proper context of the policy as a whole. The relevant section of the policy reads as follows:

2.3 CATS, in order to serve the purpose for which it is established, must of necessity accommodate all persons without distinction of age. It is therefore necessary to exclude advertising unsuitable for exposure to persons of young age and immature judgment. The following kinds of advertising therefore will not be permitted:

a. Advertising for cigars, cigarettes, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, and other tobacco products.

b. Advertising for alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine and distilled spirits.

c. Advertising for products or services related to human reproduction or sexuality, including but not limited to contraceptive products or services, other products or services related to sexual hygiene, and counseling with regard to pregnancy, abortion, or other sexual matters.

d. Advertising for products, services, or entertainment directed to sexual stimulation.

Clearly, the policy’s intent is to ensure advertising is suitable for young transit riders. Advertising space actually purchased with ad copy actually submitted will be reviewed objectively applying the standards set forth in the policy equally to all.

Thank you for your time and interest.

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer is a staff writer for QNotes. He previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015.