Conservative news site CNSNews.com reports a Metro representative told them the ads could not be removed because regulating content would violate the advertiser’s First Amendment rights.
They point out that the Metro bans religious, political and advocacy advertising, which is true.
That decision was made last year after a group tried to buy space to place a cartoon of Muhammad as an advertisement, which many Muslims find offensive. The same group trying to place the ad was responsible for the “Draw Muhammad” contest that led to a shooting in Texas.
The Metro then closed what they labeled as “issue-oriented” advertising for the rest of the year, which they then decided to continue indefinitely.
“The advertiser purchased a total of five ads in three stations through August 7. Metro has not received any customer complaints to date,” Metro spokesperson Morgan Dye told CNSNews.com.
The petition reads as follows:
This is not the first time Squirt ads have made a stir.
A video of an ex-marine smashing the glass protecting one of the ads and throwing it into the street once accessible went viral last year.