People in Ontario completely fed up with a certain type of advertising taking over
The legalization of online single-sports betting in Ontario has ushered in a new era of advertising as gambling websites and apps race to establish a market presence.
But that battle for brand awareness is really starting to get on peoples' nerves as the ads take over airwaves, social media, and even commuters' views looking out the windows of GO trains.
If you've viewed pretty much anything on a television, smartphone, or computer screen lately, you've probably had to sit through some sports betting advertisements, but some call the blocking of GO train windows with ads a step too far.
This is not OK! pic.twitter.com/mYJIFX0cdn— Justin Fan (@not_taylorx) June 23, 2022
Twitter user Justin Fan shared a photo of the advertisements on a GO train operating on the Kitchener Line in the Guelph/Eramosa area this week, adding that "It is impossible to see outside at eye level when sitting down."
No looking out the window for you and you and you ...— torontodavenport (@ward9toronto) June 23, 2022
Gazing out the window is one of the few ways to ensure you don't have to make eye contact with randoms during your commute. Now, your view may be entirely blocked by an opaque advertisement with a QR code pressuring you to gamble away your hard-earned dollars.
Why is @gotransit stopping people from seeing out the window? How much money do they get from this??— globaltom (@GlobalTom) June 23, 2022
It seems that even if you can block ads on your devices and only consume TV and movies through ad-free streaming platforms, you just can't escape the betting ads. They will relentlessly hunt you down like some sort of multimedia Terminator.
The prominent placement of these ads has one commenter suggesting warnings should be applied, similar to cigarettes.
Doesn't appear to be warnings about "betting responsibly' in the ads. There should be warnings! Just like in cigarette ads / packages.— 🇨🇦 Howie 💉💉💉Lem (@can_twitr) June 24, 2022
Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins tells blogTO that the transit agency has "recently received this feedback from some customers and we're looking into it now."
"We know that having the chance to sit back and enjoy the view is one of the reasons customers like to travel on GO Transit. That's why when reviewing advertising materials that will be installed on our vehicle windows, Metrolinx follows a set of guidelines to ensure that no more than 40 per cent of a given window is blocked and that there are seats on each coach that are clear of advertising."
"Advertising on our trains, buses and in stations plays an important role in improving and expanding our services through non-fare revenue, particularly as we start to recover from the effects of the pandemic on our ridership. We want to ensure public transit remains affordable, so we must look at ways to improve without having to rely solely on fares and public funding."
Aikins stresses that while Metrolinx has oversight into ad placement, the ads themselves "are governed by the Advertising and Gaming Commission of Ontario and the Advertising Standards of Canada."
Commuters will only have to deal with these blocked views for a bit longer, though, as Metrolinx confirms "this particular campaign ends this weekend."
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