Two years ago, we asked TTC Chair Adam Giambrone about whether increasing the amount of advertising on the TTC would be a way to make the organization a bit more money. He told us then: “I think we have an acceptable level of advertising. Could it be less? Absolutely. At this point any reduction would be a budget reduction, and I’ll tell you I’m not really prepared to reduce the budget of the TTC to reduce the advertising. At the same time, I think we certainly have enough advertising. Many people would say too much, and even if we went all-out, the money is just not the solution to our city’s budget woes.” In November of 2007, we polled our readers on whether there was too much, just enough, or not enough advertising on the TTC, and 51% of you said that, then, there was too much.
So we can’t imagine the majority of you will like this bit of ad creep very much: the TTC has installed a poster-sized video screen on the northbound platform of Bloor-Yonge subway station, only a few feet away from their ceiling-mounted, smaller Onestop video screens (screens that are intended to deliver important information to riders but whose screen real estate is dominated by advertising). The screen, spotted first thing this morning by reader Jonathan Poyner, is currently rotating customized movie trailers: one for District 9, which encourages viewers to “keep the TTC a humans only zone,” one for The Ugly Truth, and another for Julie & Julia. We’re trying to find out from the TTC whether the screen is a one-off or part of a larger project, and if so where the next screens will be—but after a few hours we haven’t yet heard back from the TTC’s typically fast-responding brass. We’ll let you know when we do; and you can let us know if you spot any others.
: Adam Giambrone has gotten back to us: the video ad screen, he says, is a “test project by TTC Marketing and there are no current plans for expanding it.” The key word there is current: the Commission is waiting for a report on the project expected “by end of year at the latest,” which, says Giambrone, will include: “What the TTC’s existing contractual obligations are to its contractor for installing this newer form of advertising,” “What the revenue implications are for the TTC,” and “What the levels of public acceptance are for this change.” Writes Giambrone: “I think there is generally enough advertising on the system already, but will want the Commission to have the benefit of this information before making a decision.” As far as he knows, the screens would only be used for advertising.
Video by David Topping/Torontoist.