Acting quickly in response to concerns raised by Providence community members, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) and Lamar Advertising today removed bus shelter advertisements which featured automatic firearms as part of an ad for a security company.
Providence resident H. Philip West Jr., wrote RIPTA officials yesterday evening to express his concern about the ads, particularly in light of the gun violence he has witnessed or heard about in his neighborhood in the city’s Elmwood section.
At the direction of RIPTA’s CEO, Raymond Studley, and RIPTA’s Board of Directors Chairman, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, RIPTA contacted Lamar first thing this morning and was advised that the ads were being removed immediately from the shelters. A Lamar advertising representative stated that these ads were the result of an internal error on their part, and never should have been displayed. Approximately 10 bus shelters had these ads.
These advertisements are not befitting RIPTA’s role in the community and we take it very seriously when a resident states that an advertisement on a bus shelter is causing concerns about safety in their neighborhood.