Outdoor advertising giant Clear Channel has been forced to review its ad clearance procedures after being battered for approving a series of anti-abortion posters attacking Labour MP Stella Creasy, under the strapline “StopStella”.
The posters, for pro-life organisation the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, launched last week and feature a picture of what the organisation claims is a nine-week-old foetus. The campaign is aimed at stopping Creasy in “promoting human rights abuses of children in the womb” and comes after she led an attempt to extend access to abortions to Northern Ireland. It appeared across the MP’s Walthamstow constituency and was due to run for four weeks.
However, following a personal intervention from Creasy – who took to Twitter to ask followers to “get me the CEO” of Clear Channel and “how much did you get for this crap?” – Clear Channel has said it is “taking immediate action to remove this campaign”.
The campaign has also attracted about 30 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority. However, the ASA has little power to act on such issues.
A Clear Channel spokesman said: “We sincerely apologise for any offence that has been caused by a recent campaign which we ran in Walthamstow on behalf of a customer.
“As an out-of-home media owner, we take a neutral stance towards all advertising and have robust procedures in place to ensure that the creatives we run comply with the UK advertising codes. While this campaign met these requirements, we accept that the content should have been scrutinised in greater detail and should not have been displayed.
“We are reviewing the internal processes we have in place regarding the campaigns and content we run to prevent an issue like this from happening again.”
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