A call to arms
Apologies for my extended absence, but things have been busy at the actual paying job. I have been brought out of hibernation because of the announcement by the “National Vaccine Information Center” (NVIC) regarding their anti-vaccine billboard campaign. According to their press release, NVIC has launched a program to place billboards in Arizona, Illinois, Oregon, Washington and Texas in March and April, for the purpose of promoting their ill-informed anti-vaccine message.
These superficially innocuous billboards feature a picture of a Mom with an incredibly cute infant, but the horror of the campaign is the link directing the innocent billboard peruser to NVIC’s abysmally misleading and one-sided website. They claim that the campaign is designed “to encourage citizens to become informed vaccine decision-makers”. If this were true, then surely NVIC would include the websites of the CDC or Every Child By Two on their adorably horrifying billboard, would they not?
Folks, it is time for a call to arms. Recently, vocal opposition to misleading vaccination information successfully quashed the efforts of the Australian Vaccination Network to place an anti-vaccination video on American Airlines. Sadly, a similar effort to prevent dissemination of dangerous information on Delta Airlines by NVIC failed, despite opposition from organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics. Now is our chance to again fight against the propagation of information that is dangerous to children and to public health.
If you know of the corporation that accepted money from NVIC for these billboards in any of the states listed, please write them a letter and tell them how you feel about the promotion of such egregiously incorrect information. I have received information that the company in question for at least two of the states is Clear Channel Communications. This is a company which claims on the philanthropy section of its website the following:
Clear Channel Communities™ works with an array of health-related organizations to bring attention to key health issues while promoting the importance of living an active and safe lifestyle. By addressing specific issues afflicting the US population we hope to improve the overall physical, mental and social well-being of our listeners, and those in the communities in which they live.
Accepting money from an organization that represents the precise opposite of this noble philanthropy seems a bit shady, no? You may contact Clear Channel here if you so desire.
Thanks for stopping by reader, I have missed you!
Edited to add: Todd W. at Harpocrates Speaks came in with this brilliant post on this subject about an hour before I did. You should definitely check it out!