Anti-harassment ad campaign on CTA hits roadblock, stalls

More than a dozen girls and young women from the Courage Campaign asked the the CTA board last week for its help in fighting sexual harassment on trains and buses via awareness ads. And while some board members were encouraging, the ad campaign was not given the green light by the transit agency.

It turns out that the CTA's ad agency, Titan Worldwide, "has a rule requiring advertisements that fall under the public service announcement category must be posted by either a government entity or a registered nonprofit group, which Courage Campaign is not," according to a DNAinfo Chicago story.

A CTA spokeswoman also noted that last year there were just  four reported incidents of sexual assault on the CTA, while in 2013 just 18 incidents of public indecency were reported.

CTA harassment

But I'm sure if you're a woman, you have been the victim of minor harassment a number of times, and even more serious intimidation such as men masturbating or exposing themselves. I know my wife and daughter both have been.

For its part, the CTA has in the past included sexual harassment as a target in its "see something, say something" ad campaign. But those ads have mostly disappeared.

Certainly the fight for the ad campaign is not over. And the CTA has not shut the door on the Courage gals. The CTA is encouraging women to report harassment. The spokesperson also said the agency takes into account social media posts on the subject.

So to the folks behind the Courage Campaign, I say, keep pushing on.


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  • Your story doesn't indicate if the group was asking CTA to post CTA's antiharassment posters or their own. Besides that the Board used some convenient method of giving them the brush off, in that the link was not to a Titan policy, and I am not yet aware of a political organization that advocates harassment, nor one that is going to use the CTA as a public forum to advocate harassment. Take a look, especially, at the third worthless WHEREAS in the cited ordinance.

  • "18 incidents of public decency"? (no charge, Kevin)

    What if the group found a registered nonprofit to sponsor their ads?

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Thanks for the edit CC. And yes, that is the answer - get a nonprofit to sponsor the ads for them

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    I don't see how that changes anything in the minds of the deaf CT Board since the nonprofit would still be engaged in advocacy and CTA does not provide a forum, even if someone pays for it.

    Apparently CTA is o.k. with the worthless signs depicted on June 1, but a hand up a woman's skirt with a message about calling 911 is beyond its "creative team."

    And Kevin, maybe you should read about the public forum doctrine before posting, because the entire essence of the linked ordinance was CTA saying it was not one.

  • Those have to be some BS statistics. People aren't reporting harassment. The totals are definitely higher than what those stats are!

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