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Political ads to appear in Swiss buses

Swiss company PostBus, a subsidiary of the Swiss Post service, announced Friday that its buses will now be permitted to display politically charged advertisements.

The leadership of PostBus decided at the beginning of September to authorise political advertisements inside their buses, specifying that these must be limited to ads placed in hanging posters or displayed on screens.

Political parties, initiative and referendum committees, or candidates running for political office will now be able to use the network of 1,700 buses to advertise their causes and campaigns.

“More and more public transportation companies are allowing political advertising, and the demand is growing,” PostBus spokesman Urs Bloch in a statement to Swiss News Agency ATS on Friday.

Railway ruling

Political displays have been permitted for some time in Swiss trains: In 2012, the Swiss Federal Court ruled that the Swiss Federal Railway had to tolerate political advertising in its cars and stations.

Earlier this year, that ruling was put to the test when an ad featuring a Swiss cross turned into a swastika appeared in the Zurich and Geneva train stations in advance of a February 28 vote. The ad proved so controversial that the rail company decided to remove it, saying in a statement that they “assume[d] displaying a swastika so prominently goes beyond the bounds of the Federal Court’s decision” and that they “[did] not involve themselves in political campaigns in any way, nor take an official position”.

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