It’s hard to say which subway ad campaign is, like, the ~most offensive ad campaign of all time~ (actually, no, it’s not: it’s this one), but what’s not hard to say is that many of them—from the casually racist ad for a Bravo reality show to those incredibly graphic anti-soda campaigns—are not exactly what you’d like to be looking at first thing in the morning as you head into work. And the recent proliferation of explicit ads promoting plastic surgery—specifically breast enhancement surgery—would make even the most hardened New Yorker question whether or not there was any sort of group even governing what was permitted to go up on MTA property at all. Well, guess what? There is! And it (maybe) has a problem with a new campaign.
As DNAinfo reports, there’s been a bit of an outcry over the last couple of days as news has spread that Thinx, a company which makes underwear designed to prevent leaking and staining while a woman has her period, has been having a hard time getting approval for its latest ad campaign, an example of which can be seen above. Now, for anyone who has seen the breast augmentation ad in which a woman despairingly holds a pair of tangerines up to her chest in one image, while triumphantly holding a pair of grapefruits up to her chest in another, this rather lovely image of a peeled grapefruit—while certainly evocative of a vagina—seems rather tame. And yet the MTA, full of period-fearing men, won’t let the ad come to light! Damn you, MTA! Down with the patriarchy! Misandry forever!
Except, you know, not exactly. Via the New York Times, it seems abundantly clear that the MTA will approve the above ad, and others in the campaign. An anonymous MTA official told the paper of record in no uncertain terms: “Of course they will be approved.” The Times further reports, “the ad proposals for Thinx had not been rejected, but that they were still in the M.T.A. review process,” and concludes “it appears this wasn’t about standards at all, but the normal pace of the M.T.A.”
Of course, the Times also reports that the MTA would like for some “changes that we felt were appropriate for the riding public” to be made, and that they are “hoping to work with the advertiser to refine the copy.” So perhaps this case isn’t totally over yet, but it does appear that, coming soon to an F train near you, a grapefruit vagina will be available for your rush hour-viewing pleasure.
Personally, I think all this drama could have been prevented by doing the one thing that we all know ought to be done re: subway ads. Namely: All Dr. Zizmore ads, all the time.