Ad Company Owes MTA $7.5 Million

It is no secret that the MTA is going through its worst financial crisis ever. Even with Albany passing new funding measures, the agency’s financial future is still in question. So the latest report about finances does nothing to starve off those woes. A report in today’s edition of the New York Times takes a look at how an advertising company responsible for selling ad space in transit system in major cities including New York, is behind on mandatory payemnts to the MTA. William Neuman has more:

The worst advertising market in decades has had a devastating, and well-documented, effect on newspapers, magazines and television networks. But now another recipient of ad dollars is being hurt by the market slump at a time it can little afford it: mass transit.

In recent months, a company that sells many of the ads that appear on buses and trains and in stations in New York, Boston, Minneapolis and other cities has come up short in its payments to transit agencies, citing a sharp drop in ad rates and sales.

New York is among the hardest hit.

The company, Titan Worldwide, fell short a total of $7.5 million in mandatory payments to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority from February through April, citing lower than expected ad sales. That would be enough to buy 16 new buses for the authority, which recently received a state bailout in the face of multibillion-dollar budget deficits over the next few years.

“This is another example of the M.T.A.’s exposure to the global economic recession,” said Aaron Donovan, a spokesman for the authority, which plans to raise fares and tolls by about 10 percent in June.

Click here for the complete report.

Lets be honest, the amount of money owed to the MTA is a drop in the bucket when compared to the overall numbers. However psychologically, this is a big blow to an agency that just can’t seem to win on any financial front lately. William’s report alone should be able to smack sense into Albany & the general public about the reality the MTA is facing.

When a transit agency as big as the MTA is worrying about $7.5M in overdue payments, something is clearly wrong. This should tell everyone what is already common knowledge to those of us who follow things regularly. The MTA needs legitimate funding solutions in place that will be sustainable during all economic conditions. $7.5M should never be a big financial issue outside of the principal of collecting what is rightfully owed to you. Will we ever get to where we need to be?

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Titan would have had a hard time making their goal payments even in good times. Titan won many markets by putting in ridiculously high bids that they couldn’t meet on ad sales alone.

Hello Pete,

Thank you for your analysis of Titan’s business practices. I am assuming these types of actions are common place for them. So if that is the case, why do they continue to get chosen by transit agencies? Do you think it is a case of greed clouding judgment?

[…] May of 2009, I wrote an entry about an advertising company owing the MTA $7.5M. Flash forward to 2010 where a report in the New York Daily News exposes how the same company, […]

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