Climate denier’s ally

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Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

imageAn advertisement aimed at countering a controversial billboard on climate change could not find a place in Chicago because it was rejected by an advertising biggie, which has near-monopoly in the business of placing billboards in the city. The outdoor advertising wing of Clear Channel rejected the digital billboard proposed by Forecast the Facts, a group that connects extreme weather to climate change. The ad was a response to a short-lived billboard campaign by non-profit Heartland Institute, that compared those who support climate science to mass murderers, the Unabomber and Charles Manson. Heartland pulled the billboard amid outrage from its supporters and environmentalists.

The Forecast the Facts billboard took aim at drug major Pfizer, one of Heartland’s corporate backers, for not cutting ties with the institute. The proposed ad includes the Pfizer logo alongside text: “We still support climate deniers. Do you?” Pfizer has stood by Heartland despite growing pressure. Jim Cullinan, vice-president of marketing and communications at Clear Channel Outdoor, says the company had legal concerns with the billboard. “We work with customers to ensure the content of our advertising is appropriate.”

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