Grand Theft Auto 4 maker sues Chicago transport chiefs
Game ads pulled, free speech rights violated. Apparently
Take-Two Interactive is suing the Chicago Transit Authority after the metropolitan transportation organisation removed a series of Grand Theft Auto 4 ads from the city's bus shelters.
The posters went up across the city on 22 April, the result of a $300,000 deal struck between Take-Two, and the CTA and its ad agency, Titan Outdoor, the games publisher said. Within days, it claimed, all the ads had been taken down.
GTA IV: Liberty City, yesterday. Not Chicago, OK?
The publisher, which filed its lawsuit in
Liberty City New York rather than Chicago, wants its $300,000 back and the CTA to be forced to re-run the ads.
Quite apart from the alleged violation of its contract with the CTA, Take-Two maintains its right to free speech was violated, the Reuters news agency reports.
The CTA has yet to comment on the case, but it's been reported that the ads were yanked after a local TV news station criticised the Authority for accepting posters promoting a game featuring vehicle theft and drive-by shootings - all of which have been a particular problem in Chicago of late, it seems.
Not that the ads appear to show such behaviour, focusing instead on the game's characters.
Life in a Dictatorship
The point that is being missed is that Chicago is not your usual city, but a dictatorship run by Mayor-for-Life Richard M. Daley, aka King Richard the Second. If something in the city happens suddenly, and in complete disregard for the law, you can be certain it originated in the Mayors office. I assume somebody told Richie that the city was taking heat over the 'violent' adverts, so the order came out and the ads came down. The city will now spend a couple of million tax-payer dollars (called 'chump-change') defending the action in court, the legal fees all going to firms who are FODM (Friends of Da Mayor)
Situation normal, nothing to see here, shut your mouth and move along...
Nothing to do with this story, but...
...reading the comments here; just realised that this icon is a black helicopter. Always thought it was an angry bunny - stare at it, you'll see
$300k for bus shelter ads?
Call me a cyncical adman, but it sounds like a publicity stunt arranged between CTA and GTA.
i.e. $50k for advertising, $250k for you to make a fuss and cause more publicity...???
I would say either the CTA should have to show the ads OR return the $300,000, personally. They can't really expect to pocket $300,000 and not display ads. They really shouldn't be required to do both (return $300k and show an ad).
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is an independent governmental agency created by state legislation. The CTA began operating on October 1, 1947, after it acquired the properties of the Chicago Rapid Transit Company and the Chicago Surface Lines. On October 1, 1952, CTA became the sole operator of Chicago transit when it purchased the Chicago Motor Coach system.
Taken straight from CTA web site. it is a gov agency