They Rejected an Atheist Ad for Being “Offensive”… But They Allow This?

Lamar Advertising recently rejected this FFRF billboard in Alabama:


Here’s what the general manager of the company said at the time:

“It was offensive to me,” said Tom Traylor, general manager of Lamar Advertising in Birmingham. “We have the autonomy to decide what’s in the best interests of our company and what’s offensive. I don’t think it was the kind of message we wanted to stand behind.

“You have to know what area of the country you’re in,” he said. “A heavy percent of our population is Christian. That’s who we cater to.”

You would think Lamar Advertising in Texas would feel the same way, considering they also cater to a heavily Christian population.

In which case, those Christians must love getting it on with “premium” escorts… because Lamar just approved this billboard:


(via BNET — Thanks to Brian for the link!)

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  • Liudvikas

    That makes sense. As long as escorts are true christian it is perfectly fine.

  • There’s no way for an atheist group to get exposure. It’s impossible. Even to suggest that the world would be better without a religious influence is seen as “militant” and “offensive”, but there’s no problem with people on milk crates shouting about salvation and handing out pamphlets. It’s a horrific double standard.

    I suppose that’s why I’m the unfriendly atheist. My patience wore out.

  • Jim

    Well, the escorts are supposed to make men fine “upstanding” citizens who scream “Oh GOD!!!” when the rapture comes.

  • Nothing new, that just lets us remember that christians feel nearer whores than reason.

  • jemand

    I saw one billboard in the Chicago area (Probably Lamar) which was incredibly disturbing to me… it was an escort service, which is fine, but the girl’s picture SERIOUSLY looked like a 12 year old.

    Really I don’t have a problem with escort services themselves but advertising with a girl who was chosen and posed and dressed etc. to look like a 12 year old is seriously more disturbing than anything FFRF could have come up with.

  • Jasen777

    To be fair, there is always alot of Christians complaining about ads for gentlemen’s clubs in the like. And you can’t claim hypocrisy when you are talking about two different companies.

  • Well, based on past prominent Christians in Texas and their involvement with escorts, this ad seems well placed. lol

  • Jasen, both billboards were approved by Lamar Advertising-the same company.

  • Jasen777

    My bad.

  • Kristin

    As atheists, we like to take statements Christians make and ask, “How would you feel if we replaced the word atheists with blacks or Jews?”

    Well, try the same thing with this billboard. “Imagine No Blacks. Imagine No Jews.” I can see how this one in particular would be considered offensive. Just because some people may go around believing the world would be better without certain races or religions doesn’t mean they should be able to put a sign like that up.

    We should use the same discretion. This makes it sounds like we’re actively trying to get rid of the religious, and whether you think the world would be better without them or not, you shouldn’t exactly go around advertising that.

    “Imagine No Atheists.” I would think that wouldn’t go over so well with us.

  • “Imagine no racism.” (NOT “Imagine no racists.”)

    “Imagine no homophobia.” (NOT “Imagine no homophobes.”)

    “Imagine no stupidity.” (NOT “Imagine no stupid people.”)

    “Imagine no hatred.” (NOT “Imagine no hateful people.”)

    Get it yet, or should I continue?

  • Kristin: Except you can’t pick your race or ethnicity.

    “Imagine no people with brown hair”

    is not comparable to
    “Imagine no people who enjoy re-enacting civil war battles using Lego”

    Religion is just a hobby where most people take it way to seriously.

  • Wes

    Lamar must be a “bible-based” company. While the Bible does prohibit claiming there’s no god, it doesn’t prohibit selling women as chattel. So there you go.

  • teammarty

    There’s a billboard in the northern suburbs (Detroit) that says “Stamp Out Atheism”. We can complain about that and it does no good. This is just more of their “We can say anything we want, no matter how offensive it is to you but you’re not allowed to say anything because WE are offended” bullshit. Freedom is either a two way street or it’s just pretense.

  • Luther

    Imagine Freedom Of Speech

  • Using sexuality (particularly female sexuality) to sell…anything: A-OK

    Anything that questions or criticizes the beliefs of the religious elite, even indirectly or only in their imaginations: Horribly offensive and off limits.

  • WCLPeter

    Does anyone else think its funny that doesn’t exist?

    Someone paid a ton of cash to put up an ad for an escort service that doesn’t exist? Almost makes me wonder if the “escort” ad was put up there to block the FFRF ad and give the conservatives the chance for talking points on the news.

  • J. J. Ramsey

    Jasen777, you may be more right than you think. The people making decisions in the divisions of Lamar Advertising that do business in Alabama are not necessarily the same people making decisions in the divisions of Lamar Advertising that do business in Texas. It may be a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.

  • Lamar was very cooperative when FFRF did the same billboard in Harrisburg, PA, and they encouraged us to contract for more signs (but we don’t have the money right now). So I guess it really does depend on the regional manager.

  • I don’t see anything wrong with either. But if you are in Florida and see a Fundamentalist Christian Billboard, snap a photo and send to me for the Billboard Wars Project.

  • asg

    I live about 40 miles from pharr. This billboard was all over the local news. I cant believe its they rejected the FFRF sign

  • Dan W

    Apparently ads for sex are more acceptable than atheist ads. Personally I see no problem with either of them, though I am surprised that there haven’t been ultraconservative Christians, like the type who think sex is somehow wicked and sinful (et cetera), complaining about it. I guess to them anything’s better than those “offensive” atheist ads.

  • Thilina

    Really I don’t have a problem with escort services themselves but advertising with a girl who was chosen and posed and dressed etc. to look like a 12 year old is seriously more disturbing than anything FFRF could have come up with.

    Sounds like they’re trying to target the catholic priests.

  • Bill Walker

    What else is new in Jesus land ?