MTA Pulls Ad Thanking Cuomo for $4B in Federal Sandy Aid Money

By Colby Hamilton on April 16, 2014 5:57pm | Updated on April 16, 2014 7:02pm

 An MTA ad thanking Governor Andrew Cuomo for $4 billion in federal Sandy aid is being removed from subway cars, according to the MTA.
An MTA ad thanking Governor Andrew Cuomo for $4 billion in federal Sandy aid is being removed from subway cars, according to the MTA.
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DNAinfo/Danielle Tcholakian

CIVIC CENTER —  The MTA will pull a subway advertisement that thanked Gov. Andrew Cuomo for helping to secure $4 billion in federal funding for Hurricane Sandy-related transit repairs, an MTA spokesman said on Wednesday, after DNAinfo New York contacted the agency earlier in the week.

The ad was done “without consultation or approval by the governor’s office,” the spokesman said.

“It was a decision that came out of MTA corporate communications,” an MTA spokesman said. “It was one poster that was not properly vetted.”

Cuomo’s office declined to comment, referring questions to the MTA.

The ad, which began appearing inside subway cars last month, begin with the line, "We're not just rebuilding, we're improving." They go on to highlight the agency’s “Fix & Fortify” program, which the ads claim “is restoring New York’s transportation system to pre-Sandy condition and will make it less vulnerable to future storms.”

The ad then go on to thank “Governor Cuomo, the FTA and FEMA” for “$4 billion in federal funding” being used to pay for the work.

According to the agency spokesman, the ad makes up a “very, very small amount” of a 13-part campaign first conceived by the agency back in 2012. The campaign was delayed, the spokesman said, because the agency switched the advertising firm it worked with, among other issues.

The MTA spokesman said although the timing coincided with the start of Cuomo's re-election efforts, the ad had nothing to do with “election year politics."

Additionally, the ad didn’t cost the agency any potential revenue, as the transit authority reserves a block of ad space it uses for promotional and public safety use, thanks to an agreement with its advertising vendor, CBS Outdoor, an MTA spokesman said.

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