Take-Two sues Chicago Transit Authority

Publisher takes the city's public-transportation division to court over "outrageous decision" to yank $300,000 Grand Theft Auto IV ad campaign.

348 Comments

After the Chicago Transit Authority pulled an ad campaign for Grand Theft Auto IV last month, a representative of the city dismissed the notion that Take-Two Interactive could sue the CTA for an abridgment of its First Amendment rights.

"The CTA has the right to regulate and establish guidelines for advertising on its properties," the authority representative told GameSpot at the time.

However, today GameSpot confirmed a Reuters report that Take-Two has filed suit against the CTA, alleging not only a violation of its free-speech rights, but also a contractual agreement.

"Although we prefer to resolve these issues amicably," a Take-Two spokesperson said in a statement, "the CTA has refused to discuss with us its outrageous decision to pull advertising for the critically acclaimed game Grand Theft Auto IV while running ads for other forms of popular entertainment with similar content, including mature-themed TV shows and R-rated movies."

The suit was filed against the CTA as well as Titan Outdoor LLC, its external advertising agent. Take-Two is asking for an order that the CTA run the ads again, and pay at least $300,000 in damages. The six-week campaign of 385 ads was barely underway when the CTA decided to yank the advertising spots.

A CTA representative said at the time that the decision to pull the campaign was made not because of complaints over the GTA IV ads, but due to complaints over a series of ads that Take-Two ran in 2004 for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. That campaign was worth $90,000 to the CTA, and due to the fact that the ads had run their course by the time it became an issue, they didn't need to be pulled.

According to a CTA representative, the Grand Theft Auto IV campaign cost Take-Two Interactive $316,000, but the city's take of that would have been at most $205,400 after Titan had taken its cut. After the ads were pulled, the CTA said that Take-Two would not be charged for the aborted campaign.

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football_legend

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Got Get em.

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GermanFizzle08

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This is awesome. If they can say an ad for a video game is bad then why do they run the ads for the movies and TV shows that they talked about. I hope Take-Two kicks the CTA right in the nads.

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Avatar image for Viral-venom13
Viral-venom13

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Ha, i guess Take 2 plans to get all of its cash needed for the company's hardwork as well as excercise its "Free Speech" rights!

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ps3thabest

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of course take two will win dey had a deal

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Avatar image for Elann2008
Elann2008

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They had a contract, the CTA didnt live up to that. I hope Take Two wins the case.

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xkojimax

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hahah hell yeah !!! FREE SPEECH! take two > all

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Avatar image for JGoWild
JGoWild

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finally, Take Two suing someone, but not the other way around................ha ha ha ha ha

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Avatar image for Ailith
Ailith

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Good, I hope they sue the sh!t out of them. Yanking ad's based on a few complaints from a few prudes about a completely different game in 2004 AFTER they signed a contract. F***ing morons deserve to be sued just for being stupid.

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goateeqt

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I live in Chicago, and the CTA is a bunch of losers. They will lose this lawsuit too. I am not sure about the free speech part of the suit, but the CTA will owe damages. It was up to the CTA to decide in advance whether they were going to run the ads or not. So the CTA owes Take Two not only a refund of the ad costs, but also damages reflecting the increased revenue Take Two would have had if the ads had run on the CTA or if the CTA had at least given enough notice for Take Two to advertise elsewhere. Ads are supposed to generate revenue above the cost of the advertising, after all.

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gamestillidied

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As redse2000 already stated anyone that has an idea on these types of matters knows this is a sure victory for Take Two. Hats off to them for taking action so swiftly.

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ravengeist

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this is drivel why are games different from movies? and keep EA away from take two please jebus!!!!

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Avatar image for redse2000
redse2000

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Take-Two is suing CTA for violating contractual agreement. CTA should have had evaluated Take-Two GTA4 ad thoroughly prior to accepting it for posting, but CTA had failed to do so. They yanked it after they signed the contract and therefore by them yanking Take-Two GTA4 ad, CTA is violating the contractual agreement. In addition, there is no direct correlation between previous GT3 complaint and GT4 as they are two separate product released in two separate time frame. Take-Two will definitely win this case!

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thepyrethatburn

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It would actually be funny if the legal costs from this lawsuit (especially if Take 2 loses) weakens Take 2's financial position enough for EA to buy Take 2 out.

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Avatar image for Marston21
Marston21

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First once we start picking and choosing which speech is covered by the first amendment and which isn't ALL speech is vulnerable. What they are really battling here is precedent. If you can pull an AD for something done in a completly separate campaign you are setting a dangerous precedent.

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bumblebeeman14

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Wow...great! Just what the CTA needs: a lawsuit. I understand where Take-Two is coming from and the importance of free speech but really? The opening sales for GTAIV were estimated anywhere between $400 million to $550 million. $300,000 and some ad time? That's hardly comparable to those numbers. The CTA is already outrageously underfunded. You're basically screwing every Chicagoan.

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Mona5443

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They deserve to be sued. I live in Chicago and to see the ad campaign come down over the Chicago Fox Affiliate's **** fest is irritating.

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Aqeous_Snake

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From what I just read, Take Two should win this case. However, I'm pretty much against Take Two's ideals! This is just my opinion....

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rjballmer

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The CTA is a public transportation system. Suing the CTA is the same as suing the residents of Chicago. And oh yeah, paid advertising isn't free speech. Unbundle your undies.

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Rattlesnake_8

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I wonder what their excuse is.. considering they were advertising other media with similar content i don't see how it can be justified for them to break the contract. The CTA did the wrong thing and should have discussed the issue so it wouldn't go this far.

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mykel77

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good, developers need to fight back. the censors are winning. good job take 2.

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Beesond

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The speech about a-holes, D*cks, and p*ssies from the end of Team America came to mind as I read this.

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technowiz999

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rock on, way to fight the man! they won't win, but they sure as hell deserve to. go Take Two!!!!

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Shmoe82

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For a second I thought they were talking about the band that sang "does anybody know what time it is?".

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mkrunescaper

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Lol, looks like Take Two REALLY needs money.

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WR_Platinum

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lol take that!

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Lum_Yatsura

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Hooray for Take-Two! Win! Win Win! Not to be confused with "Tora! Tora! Tora!". The CTA, BBFC, RIAA, and other acronyms need to turn around their monolithic practices.

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nrCooldude

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this was just a stupid decision by CTA. they wasted a lot of money and now they are being sued. take-two ftw!

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Theman3788

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I was walking downtown last week, and I ran across not just one, but two stickers for GTAIV. they were everywhere. I dont know what they mean by pulling those

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dee_nicki

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Now watch the fans flock to Take Two's side (as if they're getting something out of it.)

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bugtrip

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Oh man these guys get more legendary by the day

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gin_rummy89

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nice i hope Take two bleeds them for every cent lol

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mcuth

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While we're on the subject.... it's a good game... but it's not as great as the hype machine has built it up to be. (I'm not counting the massive glitch... I personally haven't experienced it.)

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JoyousOblivion

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Good to see someone sticking up to the idiodic poeple in today's society. Like th article sai, the CTA will run ads for R rated movies and shows, but not for GTA? Give me a break. Hope Take-Two wins this case.

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tcc024

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Lol, the CTA is run by a bunch of morons... I live in Chicago and I'm sick of their crap. Like two months ago they were saying they were gonna cut service and abandon a ton of routes because they were massively underfunded, and now they throw away (up to) $205,400 of free money??? The worst part is, it could end up putting them another $300K in the hole! idiots!!!

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Origina1Penguin

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I hope Take-Two wins the case. A victory from them would be a nice change from all the bullying the gaming industry receives through lawsuits and negative media exposure.

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smp13

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vf21x - you do realise that completely different departments handle programming and legal issues? No time wasted, they are just trying to prove a point, I doubt the money matters to them much.

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zaptoman

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@vf21x You've got to be kidding me. You think the lawsuit is underway by the developers?? That they're suing instead of coding? I'm guessing...no.

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halosniper52

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Good im glad to see take-two sues someone for once besides someone suing them.

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vf21x

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Take-Two needs to stop wasting time in filing lawsuits and get their patch released SO THAT WE CAN ACTUALLY PLAY THE FREAKING GAME!!!!!! It's called PRIORITIZING boys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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gamer082009

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The CTA just gave in to the pressure of the media and all the anti-video game loonies.

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aaron6581230

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That's right Take Two! Fight back! I still don't get how the CTA could pull GTAIV's advertising when there wasn't any offensive material within them. How can you take down GTA4 ads when people were complaining about GTA:SA? I'm just guessing that it's the whole mentality that whatever is created by Rockstar, is bad. So what happens when they create a children's game with no swearing/violence and call it Grand Theft Auto V? Will they have to pull the advertising for that too because people will be complaining about GTA4 ads? This makes no sense

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k2theswiss

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whats the point of pulling an ad from one of the biggest known games? lol take two dont even have to pay for ad's and they still get top number of sells thats how big this game is lol

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Warlypwnage

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I love Take Two. GTAIV is the best game ever and they should sue over this to defend the first amendment.

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TheGreatGuero

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Heck yeah, fight back Take-Two!

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wilt1725grog

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Take two is right with their law sue against that city.

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Zennious

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Good I'm glad Take Two is suing the CTA.

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