You Won't See This Atheist Billboard in Canada, But Fetus Pics Are OKS

A Canadian pro-atheist nonprofit tried to get its ad campaign up on urban billboards, and the media conglomerate in charge of the billboards said no, which is kinda weird, since the conglomerate was cool with pro-life ads featuring fetus heads.

The Toronto-based Centre for Inquiry wanted to get some added traction for its campaign to move beyond God talk and start a discussion on secular ethics, so it created the billboard ads, shown above, for display across Vancouver.

Pattison Outdoor, which owns the billboard space and bills itself as one of the country's largest outside-the-home advertisers, said thanks, but no thanks. "Pattison provided no clear rationale to support their decision," CFI president Kevin Smith said on the group's website. "They refused to identify a motive for their rejection or to supply guidelines governing their decision-making process." (Pattison hasn't commented publicly.)

But as the Vancouver Sun points out, Pattison's decision-making process hasn't prevented it from designing a billboard ad for Signs for Life, an anti-abortion group, complete with an unborn baby's cranium, and plastering it all over Halifax just two months ago.

That's got CFI sauced; although a spokesman for the group concedes that Pattison was willing to consider other billboard designs, he said that wasn't an option: "By saying, 'Give us an ad until we like it,' it's censorship by bankruptcy." He added that the group is considering filing a complaint with the provincial human rights council.

That seems hyperbolic, especially if CFI enjoys free online advertising mojo from posts like this one. But then, hell hath no fury like a political strident Canadian.

[Photo credit: CFI]