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Charlotte Area

CATS Says Alcohol Ads Will Be Thoroughly Vetted

Charlotte Area Transit System

In just a few days alcohol ads will debut on Charlotte Area Transit System buses and trains.  Those ads have gone through an additional review to make sure they don't cross the line.  

Alcohol ads are expected to earn the cash-strapped transit system $600,000 annually.  CATS has already signed two six-month contracts to promote alcohol on city buses and trains.  

But the money comes with a challenge.  The last thing CATS wants is an overly racy ad on a bus that winds through every neighborhood in the city.  

CATS Marketing and Communications Director Olaf Kinard told city council this week the transit system is careful about which alcohol ads it accepts.

"We also review it with city legal and then we also have the ABC board staff review it to make sure it meets their qualifications. So every ad has the "drink responsibly" qualification on it," said Kinard.

CATS already has a policy that prohibits ads that would be unsuitable for children.  The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission also prohibits ads that are "undignified, immodest or in bad taste."  

Either way, many Charlotte City Council members don't like the idea of city buses as rolling billboards for alcohol.  They want the transit system's governing board to reconsider allowing the ads.