ACTION ALERT! Stop Times Square Anti-Vax Ads

UPDATE: I’ve added new email addresses for executives at CBS Outdoor. If you’ve already sent an email, you can send another one to these addresses.

Updated info here.

Now through April 28. Times Square. Mercola and the National Vaccine Information Center are running an anti-vaccine “PSA” on CBS Outdoor’s JumboTron on 42nd street. And the ad will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people.

Mercola and the NVIC are determined to convince Americans that vaccines are dangerous and optional, that more harm is done by administering vaccines than by letting infectious disease ravage a population.

And that message needs to be stopped. Especially right now.

Right now:

Right now we need to be promoting vaccines. Right now real people are at risk because of unfounded vaccine fears. Right now measles should be eradicated in the US.

Right now this ad could cost people their lives.

I’ve attempted to contact CBS myself. They have not yet responded. (They have, however, emailed me the opportunity to take a survey to win an iPad. Not kidding. )

Now it’s your turn. You need to contact CBS; you need to ask them to refuse to run this ad.

Please sign this petition at

If you are feeling especially ambitious, sign the petition and email CBS Outdoor Customer Relations and CBS Outdoor Communications VP and the Boards of Directors for both CBS and CBS Outdoor to let them know how you feel.

And Tweet @CBSOutdoor and use #VaxCBS to tell them that these ads are unacceptable.

Hopefully, CBS will understand that encouraging the spread of deadly diseases is at least as embarrassing as employing a self-professed Fucking Rock Star From Mars with tiger blood.

Avatar of Elyse
Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.


  1. Avatar of Bellis

    While we’re at it, maybe we can get CBS News to fire Sharyl Attkisson?

  2. Avatar of scribe999

    awwwww crap…I walk by it every day :(

  3. Avatar of mrmisconception

    We may also “target” selected actors on their top rated shows to ask for help. I’m sure we can find out which ones are woo and which one’s aren’t.

    Top rated CBS shows are;
    NCIS: Los Angeles
    The Mentalist
    Criminal Minds
    Two and a Half Men
    Big Bang Theory
    60 Minutes
    Blue Bloods
    The Good Wife
    Undercover Boss
    All in the top 20 shows this season

    Also the news division and any of their big name reporters.
    Also top stars in their sports department.
    Also late night shows.

    CBS also owns Showtime, some of their biggest shows are; Dexter, Weeds, Californication, Nurse Jackie, The Big C, Episodes, and Penn & Teller: Bullshit! just finished it’s run on Showtime and P&T have had at least one Showtime special since.

    I suggest we find skeptically friendly folk amongst these shows and inform them of the situation, we may be able to marshall some support beyond just us.

    Nobody may want to help us, but when I tweeted Roger Ebert when we targeted AMC it got retweeted and that could lead somewhere, plus you never know.

  4. Avatar of Elyse


    How does something so informative and awesome become distractingly hilarious with one strikethrough?

  5. Avatar of mrmisconception


    It’s all in the tiger blood.

  6. Avatar of Scopes Monkey Matt

    Thanks, Elyse. NYC Skeptics mobilizing as I type….

  7. Avatar of Bubba

    Sorry I can’t sign the petition. The dumbfucks consider IE8 to be IE6 and won’t allow access.

  8. Avatar of ZenMonkey

    Thanks for alerting us to this. I have signed, tweeted, and (politely) emailed. Hoping they change their minds like AMC sorta did.

  9. Avatar of gregladen

    signed, tweeted, facebooked.

  10. Avatar of rlquinn1980

    Didn’t / Aren’t Penn&Teller leave/ing Showtime?

  11. Avatar of Gabrielbrawley


  12. Avatar of Skeptiverse

    Isn’t NECSS on this weekend might be a good group to mobilize

  13. Avatar of Elyse


    Who could I contact that would be a big name at NECSS? Are any of those skeptic ladies from that one blog there? ;)

  14. Avatar of Buzz Parsec

    @Elyse: I’m not a very good organizer, but I thought for a while I had a few takers on going over to Time Sq and trashing the place, but everyone I asked said they weren’t quite drunk enough. Maybe tomorrow when we’re all sober.

  15. Avatar of jaspen

    OMG! All the Times Square Ad says is “Know The Risks” and that you have a choice. I have to question the judgement of anyone who as a problem with that.

  16. Avatar of Skeptiverse

    @Elyse I believe that George Hrab is the MC (I have tweeted him the link) and shouldn’t a certain @RebeccaWatson be there along with her podcasting buddies ( I won’t as traveling from Australia while fun is not cost effective :))

  17. Avatar of Skeptiverse

    Wow that went a bit over my head didn’t it (looks around sheepishly) especially seeing as though Rebecca has the post just below this one saying she is at NECSS

  18. Avatar of VentureFree

    I don’t think you all understand what’s at stake here. We’re talking about autism here, guys. Autism! I think 710 people dying of a demonstrably preventable disease is worth the possibility that there might be the hint of a chance of maybe preventing one case of autism, right? I mean, get your priorities in order, people.

  19. Avatar of Kaloikagathoi

    @VentureFree: I think a lot of people would rather 710 strangers died before their own child had to suffer. People might not want to admit it, and would try to come up with some “evidence” to obfuscate this fact. But if someone convinced you that you could keep your next child from becoming autistic, wouldn’t you want to try it?

  20. Avatar of michigandawn

    The video isn’t that bad, but the problem would be that people will actually contact Mercola and NVIC thinking they are getting valid information instead of crap. If the CDC or Every Child by 2 were up there as contacts for info, I would have no problem with it.

  21. Avatar of Science Mom

    OMG! All the Times Square Ad says is “Know The Risks” and that you have a choice. I have to question the judgement of anyone who as a problem with that.

    The advert itself appears innocuous enough but NVIC’s and Mercola’s websites are clearly displayed. They are inarguably anti-vaccine and spread ridiculous disinformation.

  22. Avatar of Alterjess

    “Know the risks” is a weasel-word phrase equivalent to “strengths and weaknesses [of evolution]” from the creationists. It doesn’t mean “talk to your doctor before the flu shot if your child has an egg allergy” – it means “BIG PHARMA IS TRYING TO POISON YOUR ADORABLE BABY.” It’s a dangerous lie couched in warm fuzzy language and I’m practically having a rage blackout just thinking about it.

  23. Avatar of Elyse

    Thanks, everyone!

    FYI, I’ve added new email addresses to contact. I now have the addresses for more CBS execs and the board of directors for CBS Outdoor.

    Keep kicking ass!

  24. Avatar of LarianLeQuella

    Is there any chance that we can prosecute all the anti-vax pro-disease nutters for involuntary manslaughter every time someone dies from a preventable disease?

  25. Avatar of Kimbo Jones

    @jaspen: By pointing out “risk”, they make it very clear what “choice” they want people to make. Mercola and NVIC are not good sources of information and this ad may point people in their direction for a veritable cornucopia of dangerous nonsense.

  26. Avatar of mandydax

    I signed it, but just to let you know, there’s an error in the letter: pertussis is a bacterial infection, not viral.

    I hope they pull these ads soon. I love to see it when corporations act in the interest of humanity instead of their profit margin.

  27. Avatar of mofmars333

    This is pathetic & ridiculous.

    It’s interesting how pharma can advertise on TV even during children’s programming, desensitizing the viewers (Including children) with the facts of “it can cause, death, cancer, this ailment, that etc..) yet a message of informing individuals they can have a choice in regards to their healthcare is such a threat.

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