NYC Cab Drivers Given Veto Power Over Racy Ads

Strip-club, liquor signs prompted outrage

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Following complaints from some cabbies about racy ads on their vehicles, New York's Taxi and Limousine Commission agreed on Thursday to give more drivers veto power over them. A new regulation prevents owners of yellow-taxi medallions, who lease the right to operate taxis to the drivers, from installing ads the taxicab owner "reasonably" deems inappropriate. (It doesn't apply to drivers who lease the cabs themselves, as well as the medallions.) Mostly at issue are strip-club and liquor ads, which are ubiquitous on NYC cabs—and have prompted outrage for a long time. The New York Times relates the story of driver Mohan Singh. "The car was parked in my driveway, and the advertisement was there for FlashDancers," he says. "And my granddaughter said, 'I want to be a FlashDancer.' " Not only that, but Singh's 8-year-old nephew said he wanted to visit the club as a client. Each cab generates about $100 a month from ads. The new regulation was approved unanimously by the TLC. 

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.