New York Times Says Some Think "Sexy and Taxi Don’t Mix"

September 24, 2008
New York City taxi cab

New York City taxi cab

The picture in this New York Times article provides a brilliant contrast: a bottle-blonde vixen snarling in a "Gentleman's Club" ad perched atop a NYC Yellow Cab and a portly, dour brunette framed by the window just inches below. Some might find the comparison amusing, but a Harlem father of three--Alex Yanos--found the advertisement "grossly inappropriate," despite the fact that the advertisement featured only the model's bust ("that's the head, you know"). Some of the cab-top advertisements feature clubs such as Flash Dancers and New York Dolls.

Interestingly, the first appearance of taxi-top advertisements in 1975 was met with an uproar, says the Times. Then-mayor Abraham D. Beame was part of the vocal opposition to the lighted signs that eventually were seen as improving the visibility and safety of taxicabs. Taxis are now plastered with ads everywhere from the backseat down to trick hubcaps.

Perhaps the most unintentionally brilliant comment in the Times' article was from Allan J. Fromberg, spokesman for the Taxi and Limousine Commission, who stated his organization's role is simply to "ensure the engineering and safety of the harness unit that holds the ads." Uh-huh.

Good grief. With their stocks plunging beyond belief, you'd think cash-strapped New Yorkers would find something better to complain about. Someone make sure to tip off Yanos against going to Europe where, despite having some the safest cities in the world in which to raise a child, the topless female form appears without issue everywhere from beaches to magazine ads.--Colin Mathews

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