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The Toronto Transit Commission has turned down the opportunity to earn $250,000 in ad revenue from the adultery-facilitation website AshleyMadison.com. I’m a believer in religious and particularly irreligious freedom, but I suppose the TTC’s refusal is all right with me: one can find a secular justification in the observation that it is contrary to public policy to encourage the breaching of contracts. So my future promotional plans for CovetThyNeighboursAss.com are probably still good to go.

I really think the Star has buried the lede here though.

[TTC spokesman Brad] Ross said the TTC has advertising standards to adhere to and that it would take only five complaints from the public to pull any ad off its vehicles.

A policy like that seems an invitation to mischief, and possibly even extortion, that I don’t know if I could resist if I lived in Toronto…



  1. I think Ashley Madison is trying to take the term "underground existence" a little too literally.

  2. I'm not so sure this is a religious objection, so much as not wanting to associate the TTC with something in poor taste.

  3. Are there 4 other people out there that would like to file a complaint against the "Chances are you're taking your medicine incorrectly" ads? The ads also say that 40% of people take their medicine incorrectly, which is. . .you know. . .less than 50%.

    "Chances are" that mistakes like this are the end of the world, so help me out.

  4. They also pulled the Nike "Just do it" ad.

  5. I'd want to see their research before I assert that their numbers are wrong (because I'm not sure that they are), but yes, on the face of it, it does seem a little odd.

    • My point was that "Chances are" implies it's more likely than not, which it's not. . .nevermind. . .

  6. It is also very easy indeed to have morals when you receive hundreds of millions of $$$ annually from taxpayers. I agree that it is TTC's right to decide but I think it is stupid to turn down that much money when a significant portion of married TTC riders, and general pop for that matter, are having affairs. Ads won't make a bit of difference to people's behaviour.

    • I think ads almost certainly change behaviour. Isn't that sort of the point?

      • I think AshleyMadison.com ad would make it easier for people who are cheating on their spouse to find new partners but I don't believe it would really change anyone's actions. I guess we know different people because I don't know anyone who would change their opinion about affairs because of an ad.

  7. I know at least 5 people who object to the "TTC employees have the right to respect" ads they like to plaster everything with.

  8. More than 5 people complained about those….there is no God ads….they didn't come down..

    Seems to me to be more than a little hypocritical that they allowed the atheist ads, and then did not allow these……so what's the message TTC is trying to say? It's moral to offend religious types but not moral to allow those without religion who want to have affairs to see an ad?

    • I suppose you could say that encouraging people to think critically about religion has positive social effects, while encouraging adultery is most likely to have the opposite. I'm not 100% wedded to that interpretation but it doesn't strike me as incoherent either.

      • "I'm not 100% wedded to that interpretation"


    • That's in keeping with many Toronto liberals, who have long acted as if it's no big deal to offend Christians, especially evangelicals. Their double standards never fail to amaze me.

      • Yes, because taking a stand against adultery is so very un-christian.

      • Your faith must be incredibly insecure if you're so shaken by an ad suggesting something you don't believe. I walk by a dozen "JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY" signs a day and it's never occurred to me to be offended by other people's delusions.

        • I didn't know I had a faith – other than a deep seated aversion to Liberal hypocrisy.

      • The "There is no god so quit worrying and enjoy your life" ads were offensive only to Christians and no one of any other religion?

        • I'm a practicing Roman Catholic and I thought they were cute. But then I try not to get too hung up on what other people believe (or don't ;)

  9. There's a practical reason not to run the ads: some transit riders might be offended enough to stop taking public transit.

    • I disagree. Most people take public transit for three reasons: They have no choice, it's practical, or it's the lesser of two evils (compared to driving). Ads are irrelevant in their decision.

      In my case, taking the train is so much easier and faster than driving. Putting up an ad I disagree with would not make me switch to a stressful, costly, time-consuming drive to work.

  10. this is why hogtown is a Presbyterian hole. Y'all deserve Miller.