Bravo’s ‘Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce’ Ads Banned From Buses

Bravo’s first scripted primetime series Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce hit the marketing motherlode when transportation authorities in New York and Los Angeles banned an ad for the show from buses and subways because it featured a single woman holding up her newly naked wedding-ring finger, and the tag “Go Find Yourself.”

Seems the ad was guilty of “implied inappropriate creative.” Female TV characters aren’t allowed to engage in implied inappropriate creative on buses and subways. This, in perfect keeping with the premise of the show: Abby (Lisa Edelstein), a self-help book author compelled to hide the fact that she’s separated from her husband, starts to navigate her life as a single woman in her early 40s in Los Angeles.

It’s not the first time TV series ads have been banned from buses in our nation’s two biggest TV markets. Back in September, bus ads for Fox’s Red Band Society were pulled in Los Angeles after some complained the ad was denigrating and racist. That ad features the cast of the hospital drama with mini-captions like “Coma Boy” and “The Player.” But the one that rankled folks was next to the photo of Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, labeling her “Scary Bitch.” They were pulled after being seen on the buses for months — and one day after the series premiered.  The public transportation department tweeted at that time that its “ad policy needs to be tightened to prevent ads with offensive language from being used in the future.”

Back in July, FX agreed to take down some LA-area billboards for its new horror series The Strain featuring a worm protruding from the eyeball of an understandably unhappy woman. Seems some Angelenos, and their small children, found the image a tad disturbing. “It may have been too far out there for some people, but I personally liked it,” series’ showrunner Carlton Cuse told reporters in July.

But this rash of TV show bus ad pulls is not news; going back as far as ’07, the city of Santa Monica, for instance, took ads for CW’s America’s Next Top Model off the sides of its Big Blue Buses because they were objectifying the womenfolk. In those ads, show creator/host Tyra Banks was posed in front of a tropicalish waterfall, surrounded by her latest crop of leggy wannabe models, all wearing various colorful takes on the Me-Jane-You-Tarzan look that seemed pretty modest compared to what you can see on the beach in Santa Monica, situated on the western edge of the tummy tuck, rhinoplasty, Botox, and breast augmentation capital of America.
Bravo says it will put the Girlfriends Guide ads in other public spaces.


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