Sex Toy Company Sues After Ads Are Banned From New York Subway

MTA subway
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

A sex toy company called Dame has filed a lawsuit against New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority after the company was forbidden from advertising its women-focused products on New York City’s subway system.

Per the company’s website, Dame is alleging a double standard between its own ads and others that the Authority has approved in the past.

“NYC’s transit agency perpetuates a harmful double standard,” the company says on its website.

“They rejected Dame’s exciting new subway ad campaign, citing vague and sexist reasons. Their message: There’s plenty of space for erectile dysfunction drugs, but none for innovators making sex enjoyable for women.”

The company says that they first approached MTA in 2018 about putting ads on subway trains, after the Museum of Sex, various manufacturers of condoms and erectile dysfunction drugs and other advertisers had already displayed somewhat risque ads. They submitted the proposed ads last November, and after waiting for three weeks, they said, the campaign was rejected.

“We’ve decided to take legal action against the MTA to protest this sexist policy, and to address its implications for vulva-havers everywhere.” The criminal complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and lists Dame Products as the plaintiff and Janno Lieber and Pat Foye, the Chief Development Officer and President and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, respectively, of the agency.

Dame, in conjunction with the lawsuit, has launched a social media campaign with the hashtag #DerailSexism and is also selling hats.

Loading...

The campaign appears similar to past instances in which companies produce risque Super Bowl commercials, see them rejected by the league or network, and then wring free advertising and media coverage from the rejection. But none of those cases appear to have ever involved a full-on lawsuit.

Per The Inquisitr, another sex toy manufacturer, Lora DiCarlo, late last year received an award from the organizers of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) for its sex toy for women, the Osé. They then had the award rescinded when the show’s organizers determined that the product violated rules against products that are “immoral, obscene, indecent, [and] profane.” The pulling of the award also meant that the product lost out on a chance to exhibit at the show.

However, months later, the organizers of CES reversed their decision once again, restored the award, and apologized for their handling of the matter. The Consumer Technology Association, which owns and operates CES, said in a May statement that the episode had “prompted some important conversations internally and with external advisors and we look forward to taking these learnings to continue to improve the show.”