Toronto Transit rejects cheating spouse ads
The Toronto Transit Commission has decided it won't allow advertising from an online dating agency that helps people cheat on their spouses.
On Friday, the TTC's advertising review committee rejected an ad for the Ashley Madison dating website that reads, "Life is short. Have an affair."
The dating agency had hoped to wrap the ads around streetcars as part of a $250,000 advertising campaign.
Ashley Madison bills itself as "the world's No. 1 married dating service specifically for attached men and women who are looking to have an extramarital affair."
The TTC's advertising review committee looks at ads flagged by CBS Outdoor Canada, the company it contracts to procure advertising, as possibly violating TTC advertising standards.
Earlier in the day, Joe Mihevic, vice-chair of the TTC and a member of the committee, had said the ads could reflect badly on the TTC.
"We have a brand to protect," he said on CBC Radio. "I just don't think that this is agreeable to community standards."
Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman said he thought it shouldn't be up to the TTC to decide whether or not the ads should run since they conform with Canadian laws.
"Nobody out there at the TTC should be creating morality judgments," he said. "They should be in the business of trying to operate transit lines."
He said he believed this and future ad campaigns from his company could reduce costs for TTC riders by providing the public transit agency with revenues.
Mihevic called the value of the contract to the TTC "small potatoes." He rejected the idea that the TTC would ever allow one of its routes to be named the "affair line" in exchange for advertising revenues as Biderman has suggested.