***Update***: I’m not sure what other contact info to use, but Transpo can be reached via this webpage. Let them know what you think of their decision to wait on approving the atheist ads.
I was under the impression that atheist bus ads would be seen in South Bend, Indiana this past Monday. So did the Atheist Bus Campaign in Indiana.
The ads, which are set to run on 20 buses, cost $3,895.80, according to a copy of the check written to Burkhart Advertising, which contracts with Transpo for the bus-side ads.
The check was cashed.
It was good timing, too, since many eyes would be in the area this weekend for Barack Obama‘s speech at Notre Dame, a speech many Catholics oppose due to Obama’s stance on abortion.
But Transpo decided to hold off on putting the ads on their buses. They’re now waiting for their board to approve the ads… a process that wouldn’t happen until next Monday, after the Obama-ness wears off.
South Bend-based Burkhart says its hands are tied in the matter. Its agreement with Transpo gives the bus operator the right to review any ads that might be deemed controversial, said Rob Miller, executive vice president at Burkhart.
The ad was deemed controversial not because of its content, board Chairman Chip Lewis said, but because of the media attention it got in Bloomington.
Lewis, in South Bend, said because of the hoopla downstate, Transpo officials want to be sure about posting the ads.
“I want to make sure we have a thorough discussion and that everybody gets a chance to feel comfortable with what we decide,” Lewis said. “It’s just business as usual for us.”
It’s still irrational, though.
The ads are not controversial unless you feel people can’t handle thinking about atheism.
See? Not controversial at all.
I don’t know if there’s anything the Indiana atheists can do at this point. But perhaps if enough of us speak up, the company’s decision to postpone them will get as much media attention as the ads would’ve gotten. Then the message will still get across.
Or maybe the board members at Transpo will find the intestinal fortitude to speed up this decision.