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This weekend, the MTA kicked off its new MetroCard advertising project. Instead of the usual yellow graphic, the entire face of the new MetroCard is taken up with a royal blue Gap ad. Turn the card over, and you'll see a coupon for 20% off any Gap store between now and November 18.
The MTA has been selling ad space on MetroCards since 1995, but this is the first time they've let a commercial brand take over the full card. It seems intrusive, but they've only branded about 10% of the cards they expect to sell this month. The goal, of course, is to make more money for the authority, which could certainly use the cash. As for the Gap, they're looking at this as a novel way to promote their remodeled 34th Street flagship. You can buy the cards at 10 Manhattan stations, most of them near the store. Head to Gothamist for the full list of locations.
· MetroCards Go on Sale With Ads on Both Sides [NYT]
· The MetroCard Sells Out With "Historic First Ad" Today [Gothamist]
· Front-Facing Advertising Debuts on MetroCards [MTA.info]