Sex Toy Company wins legal fight to advertise vibrators in the subway

Sexual wellness company Dame just obtained the right to display its ads on the subway, making it the first female-founded pleasure brand to run ads throughout New York City on the Metropolitan. Transit Authority.

The settlement with the MTA, announced today, comes after an almost three-year struggle for the company. In 2018, Dame developed advertisements that showed products that Dame offered – jewelry-toned silicone toys that bear no resemblance to human genitals – as well as text like “Toys, for sex” and “You. come first ”. Dame spent $ 150,000 to revise the campaign to meet agency standards before the MTA brutally refused the company to display its ads on the subway two months later, issuing guidelines prohibiting “businesses to sexual orientation ”to advertise on MTA property. Advertisements for erectile dysfunction and men’s libido, however, continued to function unimpeded.

An advertisement for Lady who will pass in the metro, showing two hands touching the fingertips.

Dame filed a lawsuit against the MTA in 2019, claiming the ruling was unconstitutional and infringed on her free speech rights. The complaint claimed that suggestive, sometimes explicit, ads from companies such as the Museum of Sex, male sexual health startups Hims and Roman, and breast augmentation services were shown on the subway, while the relatively safe footage for Lady’s work was rejected. The MTA “disproportionately applied its anti-sexual trade clause to advertisements for the pleasure of women,” said Alexandra Fine, CEO of Dame, in a press release.

“The MTA has settled Dame’s lawsuit. As part of the settlement, Dame will launch a paid advertising campaign on MTA metro cars from November through January, ”MTA spokesperson Eugene Resnick told Motherboard. “The advertisements will promote the Dame brand and, unlike previous advertisements involved in the lawsuit, will not specifically describe or refer to its products.”

While they won the legal battle and are now allowed to advertise on the New York City transit system, the new ads are very different from the original designs they started with in 2018. They are even more so. abstract than before, barely alluding to sex or sex toys. . Instead, they show lightly lit blue and orange illustrated hands, touching fingertips or roses, with the tagline “Get In Touch”. The ads feature quotes from clients who have been asked to describe the pleasure felt for them: “I feel like I’m growing flowers inside me” or “It’s like touching the sunrise”.

An advertisement for Lady, showing a hand touching a rose.

“It was a huge win for us, but settling is really like settling,” Dame told Motherboard. “We saw first-hand how sexually-oriented businesses that reach out to people with vulva have to work five times harder to advertise on the same platforms we’ve seen on other sexually-oriented ads. . Despite everything, I am immensely proud of the perseverance and creativity of my team. Ultimately, running these ads is a step in the right direction to dismantle the censorship of female pleasure in our culture. ”

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