Fight continues over alcohol ads on local buses

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The fight over alcohol ads on local buses isn't over.

It looks like transit leaders plan to honor the few deals they made, but they may end up thinking twice about selling bus space for other alcohol ads. A local activist, Michael Zytkow, says alcohol ads target young African-Americans more than other people.

Zytkow doesn't want to see the ads on the buses. He said, "The bus routes tend to go into more predominantly low-income, predominantly minority communities, and we have to think about what message that's sending."

He went to a town hall meeting Tuesday night to tell Mayor Anthony Foxx about his concerns in person.

Foxx said he's torn between finding money for buses so fares don't keep going up and protecting young people.

He said, "We have an obligation to citizens to try to do our best to prevent fare increases. We also have a responsibility to the public to try to do that in a way that doesn't create collateral damage in the community."

The ads are expected to bring in $600,000, but some city council members plan to keep the pressure on to prevent further deals.

Claire Fallon said, "Why are you baiting people? Because that's baiting people. That's going to kids. That's subliminal. They see it. Why should it be in those communities? They don't put it in Myers Park and they don't put it in Ballantyne."