Slick-looking satirical guerilla ads popping up on Muni lambast corporate products and at least one local business.
The ads crudely recast Tums antacid tablets and DeBeers diamonds as catalysts for those seeking to engage in oral sex.
In another ad, the Mission district’s Tartine Bakery is renamed “Fartine” and compels patrons to “Wait in line for five hours, to buy a f---ing donut.” The ads have been spotted and sent to blogs such as Eater SF and Muni Diaries, which found the “sixth-grade humor” amusing.
An existing ad for tours of the USS Pampanito submarine had the “sub” covered with a photo sticker of a half-naked serviceman, modifying it to ask, “Been down on a Marine lately?” An additional sticker meant to blend in with the rest of the ad says, “Don’t Ask! Don’t Tell!”
The ads have gone “mostly unnoticed” by operators, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, until officials checked the blogs. SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose could not pinpoint an exact number of fake ads, but characterized the figure as a “small amount.”
A representative of the submarine tour said the company was assured the problem would be resolved. Other companies affected did not return requests for comment.
The ads do not contain any insignias or clear signs that they are the work of a specific group.
Rose said officials will be scouring storage and maintenance yards for additional ads, which were apparently put in the protective plastic sleeves at an unknown time.
“It’s certainly something we’re going to be monitoring,” Rose said, adding that the agency has received no word from the public about the spoofs.
The ads might make people cringe, but the SFMTA has bigger fish to fry.
“The larger problem has been the issue of graffiti,” Rose said.