The Mid Ohio Atheists, with support from American Atheists, were planning a billboard campaign with LIND Billboard Company. After months of discussion with the company, the following billboards were ready to go up tomorrow:
That is until they received a letter the day before their billboard were going up, saying their contract had been canceled. Bewildered, MOA member Michael contacted the company, hoping there was some sort of explanation. There was an explanation alright: the ads were too offensive:
“The content of the proposed displays was supposed to have been approved beforehand by senior management at Lind, but unfortunately was not. When the content of your proposed displays did recently come to the attention of senior management, it was felt that a legal opinion was needed as to whether the content of the proposed displays might constitute a violation of the terms and conditions of Lind’s lease agreements for the billboard structures at which the posters would be displayed. Legal counsel determined that such displays could constitute a violation of such lease terms and conditions. Moreover, the inflammatory nature of the proposed displays would no doubt be considered offensive to much of the community and would be harmful to Lind’s community reputation and goodwill. Lind has always and will continue to reserve the right not to publish advertisements which, in its sole opinion, are obscene, unnecessarily offensive and/or not in the best interests of the community at large. We regret any inconvenience this might have caused your organization and Lind will bear the costs it has already incurred in the production of the displays without charge.
Can you imagine a billboard company rejecting Christians because some people in the community find their opinions offensive? Nope, because LIND has posted multiple Christian billboards before, including ones that offend the part of me that is against stupidity. We’re not allowed to state our beliefs because it may offend someone. Boo fucking hoo.
That doesn’t surprise me, though. Atheist billboards are consistently controversial, even if they just say “We exist!” What’s special about this case is that the billboard company had plenty of time to reject the ads, but came up with some bullshit excuse (about their own incompetence, no less) in order to stonewall the ads. With such little warning, these ads will not be up for the holiday season like the group intended. Congratulations, bigots – you’ve silenced a minority.