CBS, which recently ran a superbowl ad sponsored by the extreme right-wing group Focus on the Family, has just rejected an ad by NORML calling for the legalization of marijuana.
The ad was supposed to run on Times Square billboards owned by CBS in New York City. The slogan at the end of the ad was simply “Legalize Marijuana – Billions in Taxes.”
CBS previously rejected ads from a variety of progressive organizations including MoveOn and the United Church of Christ by saying that it didn’t accept “advocacy” ads at all. In response to the controversy surrounding the Focus on the Family ad, however, the company claimed it changed its policy and would now accept “responsibly produced” advocacy ads.
An email from the ad buying company NORML used told the organization “that If CBS changes their morals we will let you know.”
CBS is clearly acting in bad faith as it accepts conservative political ads but not progressive ones. The company is not only banning NORML’s message, it is implicitly endorsing Focus on the Family at the same time.
Send an email to CBS and tell them to accept the NORML ad now!
But now CBS has been accused of rejecting ads sponsored by NORML calling for the legalization of marijuana because they are “too political.”
It seems like CBS is picking and choosing which advocacy ads to accept based on political preference for right-wing messages.
This is not only hypocritical, but dishonest and at best poor judgment on CBS’s part. If you are now accepting advocacy ads you should accept NORML’s very reasonable ad for your Times Square billboards.
By rejecting the NORML ad you are not only doing a disservice to the public by limiting speech based on political viewpoint, but you are implicitly endorsing the views of Focus on the Family and its message.
I hope this was simply a mistake and that CBS will quickly reverse this decision.