Alcohol ads lifted at shelters 

Muni bus shelters that display alcohol advertisements within 500 feet of schools will be stripped of those ads immediately.

City officials expressed outrage after learning that there were at least 15 instances of alcohol advertisements at bus shelters within a short distance of city schools, in violation of Muni's contract with the advertising company.

The reaction came after local watchdog group Marin Institute released a report citing ads within 500 feet of K-12 schools and universities in supervisorial districts encompassing the Richmond, Haight-Ashbury and North of the Panhandle, and the neighborhoods west of Twin Peaks near San Francisco State University.

Alcohol advertisements and public transportation are not foreign topics to The City after last fall’s uproar over Bay Area Rapid Transit officials' decision to allow such ads on their transit system. Complaints from parents and resolutions from both San Francisco and Contra Costa County supervisors prompted the agency to pull the ads despite an expected $400,000 in revenue.

But now the ads have appeared on Muni property. CBS Outdoor Company, which contracts with Muni to advertise on the shelters in exchange for maintenance at the sites, agreed to take down the ads Wednesday in the wake of the Marin Institute report, saying it was a system mistake and a misinterpretation of the contract that brings in more than $500,000 annually to Muni. CBS officials say Muni will not lose any revenue and that the advertising company will take the financial hit.

A new advertising contract which will ban all alcohol ads from Muni bus shelters is expected in December 2007, said Muni spokeswoman Maggie Lynch.

E-mail David Smith at

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