The ad proclaims that "a new Underground movement is starting under the streets of London right now. One that will challenge the established thinking of glib headlines or huge phone numbers."
At least that what is says if you stand six inches away from it (on a moving train?!) and have perfect vision.
The ad, suggesting that the reader could become the Next Great Underground Writer is illustrated by two postage-stamp-sized pictures of - wait a minute until I get out my binoculars, no that doesn't work because the train's shaking too much, I'll go up close and get out my magnifying glass, oh it's William S. Burroughs ("Underground" - geddit?!) and, nope I can't read that other guy's name at all, but he looks a bit like Andy Garcia.
Secondly, re the mocking of "glib headlines and huge phone number" - you know something guys, at least I can read those headlines and phone numbers. I'm not saying they're great adverts, but glass houses and all that.
Yes, I get that making Tube Cards is probably considered the job of least stature in ad agencies, which explains why they're generally uninspired and full of typos (my wife's an editor, don't even ask me about her apostrophe adventures with a red marker pen). However this ad by CBS Outdoor with its big white spaces and miniscule text is the clearest example I've ever seen of an advertiser not understanding the medium. In the case of a Tube Card, you've got to be able to read it from the seat opposite - a good six to eight feet away.
As opposed to inspiring me, the ad reminded me of those deliberately bad Advertising Standards Authority posters which ended with the caption "We're here to make advertising better, not to make better advertising. Sorry."
Frankly, it's just a pretentious advert made by an agency who think they're above writing Tube Cards.