AMCs and PSAs… we’ve not won yet.
*** AMC’s Ryan Noonan contacted me directly to say that they are still not planning on running the ad. He cannot divulge any details. He cannot answer any questions to help me figure out why misinformation is out there regarding the ads running at AMC. He can only say that the ads will not run.
If you see these ads running at any theaters, please let me know. I am still digging to find out if they are still running at non-AMC theaters. ***
Sunday afternoon, the internet kicked some serious ass. We told AMC that we are not okay with them airing a fear-mongering anti-vax PSA by SafeMinds.
Ryan Noonan, Official Rep, replied 1 day ago
Thank you all for your feedback. I know there’s a lot of passion shared on this thread today and I apologize for the short delay in response here.
I want to assure everyone that AMC has no plans to air any ad or Public Service Announcement about the vaccination topic, nor has any ad or PSA about the issue been shown on our screens.
Again, I appreciate you all taking the time to share your thoughts. I hope this clarifies the issue.
And the world so loved AMC and we rejoiced.
But we rejoiced too soon.
Yesterday, I spoke with a reporter from WGN News. I told her about how we bullied AMC into submission. Unfortunately, she said that she would not be reporting anything about the PSA if they weren’t showing it. Apparently “AMC not showing ad” is not news… obviously. And reporting our skeptical Hulk smash only serves to give the anti-vax groups free, undeserved publicity.
So, I dubbed myself an unsung hero and called it a day.
This morning however, I received word that this ad is, in fact, still airing in AMC theaters.
Right now, I ask you to demand answers from AMC. They told us they would not air this PSA. They can be reached via Twitter at @AMCHelps, Facebook:Â “like” them then write a status update to complain, tagging them by typing @AMCHelps (ex: “So @AMCHelps said they’d be pulling the bullshit SafeMinds ad. It’s still airing. WTF?”), add your complaint to the PSA’s thread at AMC’s GetSatisfaction, callÂ or email your local theater.
Also, take the time to contact NationalCinemedia, who are the distributors of the ad. If AMC cannot make this decision, NationalCinemedia can.
We will Boycott AMC, Regal and Cinemark theaters if we do not get the answer we want.
At this time, it would be appropriate to contact your local skeptics and tentatively organize demonstrations. It’s important to have a plan should this ad still air. We cannot stand for this.
Even if your local theater does not air the ad, if they are a member of AMC, Regal or Cinemark (and if they do not pull the ad) you should still be there. We should stand firmly against the corporations, not just against the individual theaters.
Now. Get to work.
***Update: Ryan Noonan of AMC still maintains that the ads have not and will not run and will be contacting me regarding this matter. More info to come. ***
Hm – It says that Twitter account doesn’t exist. And the Find People link on Twitter is busted. Can someone help me out with the correct link?
@Elyse: Good on ya for vigilance! (I’m Australian now)
Just to get the details straight, is there a new list of theaters? Also, who is the source that says the ads are still running?
Just want to get my documentation straight if I need to bust out the facts.
Oops! It’s @AMCHelps not AMCHelp. It’s fixed now…. should work.
At this point, all I know is that AMC is still showing them and that it’s been looked into.
I’ll update you as we get more info.
How about heckling the ad in the theater as if it was Jenny McCarthy was getting an award from the CDC?
ABC News is reporting that the ads will air:
Contacted via Twitter, Facebook, and GetSatisfaction. Let us know if any Chicago-area protests are coalescing.
They reported that yesterday…. at the time I just assumed they were behind.
I laughed at them.
I think we need someone FAMOUS (hint hint, Elyse) to get on the news and drop some SCIENCE on AMC and NCM.
I’m extra peeved now because I thought, with the problem taken care of, I could go see Harry Potter on an IMAX screen at a nearish AMC theater. I’ve half a mind to demand my money back!
… of course, that’s also because when I got to the theater, I realized that no-one was checking/tearing tickets and I could easily have gone in without paying at all. At the time, I said “it’s OK, I can stomach the loss,” but NOW that my money is an unnecessary boost to my adversaries, I feel duped! Grr.
I’m only halfway kidding — we should just channel our inner “Rocky Horror” selves, and if one of those ads appears on screen, it’s time to break out the toilet paper and throw it!
Anyway, just incredible. And I was so looking forward to seeing HP7. :-(
I’m already on it… well, not on the news… I’m on getting on the news.
On a related note, I’m glad for once that news is primarily TV-driven in that, had print still been the dominant form, you’d have to say “I’m on getting IN the news,” which sounds vaguely dirty.
OOH, NEWS, I AM IN YOU.
We should temper our responses until we get solid info on this. The reporter at WGN told us “WE found out AMC is still running itâ€¦.we are looking into it.” That’s all we have right now.
Ditto on Dalek Lama: I’d really like to hear something a little more solid on this before we unleash the Internet hordes on AMC. Has someone actually SEEN the ad running in an AMC theater?
krelnik, the ads won’t start until the holiday weekend. Hopefully they won’t start at all.
Our source is good. We at least have enough information to ask AMC what the hell is going on and to tentatively organize.
Additionally, ABC should have updated their story if they learned that the spots were pulled. And both AoA and SafeMinds have been suspiciously silent on the issue.
If my donors raised thousands of dollars to run a PSA in theaters and we contracted the spots and they were distributed and ready to air, if they got pulled because of a bunch of a self-righteous opposition, it would be a thing.
I don’t think AoA and such are less passionate about their paid PSAs being shown than I am about them not being shown.
I’m not saying I can’t be wrong… but there’s enough reason to believe I’m not.
And we don’t have a lot of time to wait to take action. These are slated to show in 2 days.
I’m going to do something crazy during my break and call the local AMC theater and ask the manager if it is running. They probably won’t know, but it’s worth a shot. I’ll let you know what I find out.
I also have an email in to NationalCinemedia asking what the story is. Tried to call but kept getting disconnected.
I posted a chastising tweet mentioning @AMCHelps and received the following response.
I responded by asking for an explanation of reports to the contrary, but it would be helpful if I had some information I could source.
The fella who runs the @AMCHelps Twitter feed is still claiming they’re not running the ads: http://twitter.com/AMCHelps/status/7168836100947968
@mrbowers & @Jay M:
I gave AMCHelps my contact info and my source.
We’ll see what comes.
On their @AMCHelps twitter, they’re repeating the same message over and over: That they are NOT playing the ad anywhere. I’m going to suggest a walk-out if they DO play it.
Phil Plait just got a Twitter response from AMC saying: @AMCHelps: @BadAstronomer We have not and will not run any ad about this topic. ^RN
Anyone else get anything?
I am having an email discussion with Ryan Noonan right now trying to get to the bottom of this.
The manager at my local AMC theater was unavailable. I told the person aswering the phone what it was about and asked if the manager might be available later. She said that they had been contacted about this issue a couple of times already (didn’t realise there was that much of a skeptical comunity out Rockford, IL way) and that she would indeed be available later.
I am going to call back later, maybe since they have already had the question asked they’ll have an answer.
I just got a tweet from AMCHelps saying the same thing. I do hope that he clarifies what happened to cause the differing statements coming out of AMC.
So AMC claims over and again on Facebook that they will not run the ads. It seems like our complaints may have worked (assuming they are telling the truth). Hey! We might have saved a life or two!
That’s cool, right?
@mrmisconception: The manager certainly should know whether the ad is running. I was the projectionist at the local theater for several years, and we always got a memo from the film distributor that listed the previews/ads/PSAs that were to be spliced into the front of the films.
I figured I’d sign up here so I could address the discussion here as well. As it’s been stated above, our position on this issue never changed. We have not run any ads about this issue and will not be running any ads.
Derek, to your point, I’m afraid that’s where I can’t help much, as I’m not aware of any other statements coming from AMC. I put out our original statement on Sunday on a number of different online channels. I was offline for a few hours this morning and was as confused as anyone when I saw the activity, because our position had not changed.
I just want to reiterate, AMC is not playing any ad about this issue on any of our screens.
Thank you for your attention to this issue, Ryan.
Dear Elyse & fellow skeptics:
The 30-second ad has been up on YouTube since October 8
Human memory being what it is, I would not take somebody’s word that “they saw it in a movie theater”.
Minimum standard of evidence: a bootleg-style video showing the Safeminds PSA plus at least 180 seconds on either side of the Safeminds PSA.
Even better — a longer video showing the AMC standard pre-show stuff (you know, flogging the food; turn off your cell phone & etc.)
@RyanatAMC: Ryan, thank you for taking the time to come here to address the matter to us directly.
It is greatly appreciated and it may have just saved some lives.
@RyanatAMC: Thanks so much!
@RyanatAMC Thanks so much for logging on and giving your reassurances directly. We appreciate your efforts.
Thank you , Ryan, for reiterating that those dangerous ads will not be played.
You do know that all hell will break out if any of us, or the many lurkers here, see that misinformation in an AMC theater. And I hope most of us know the difference between seeing a video on YouTube versus the full big screen experience!
And I promise to put my empty popcorn bag and drink container in an appropriate receptacle, and not on the floor.
@RyanatAMC: Hi Ryan, I got your Facebook response too, but couldn’t figure out how to reply to it (epic geek fail.) Anyway, thanks for putting up with us if we’ve all completely got the wrong end of the stick on this, and thanks for keeping up the pressure on the powers that be if that’s what happened.
For some reason, no one seems to be able to post details about what is going on behind the scenes, but it sounds like it is time to declare victory again.
I’d really prefer that you had some fact-based PSAs from some reputable source like the USPHS or the CDC about vaccinations, but will settle for AMC just staying clear of it.
BTW, if you haven’t picked up on it, movie theaters are an ideal environment for spreading communicable diseases, and it probably is in AMC’s best interests to make sure your customers are vaccinated against flu and don’t get sick and die :-(
P.S. Saw Harry Potter at the AMC in Burlington, MA Friday night, had a great time (apart from eating too much popcorn), and I’m glad I don’t need to feel guilty about it. :-)
Age of Autism (AoA) has responded. The “managing editor” is Kim Stagliano.
Do try to leave a comment there, but be aware that AoA has a ….
draconianrobust comment moderation procedure.
If you do decide to try a comment despite AoA’s limitation on comments, do make a copy of your comment and forward it to “Silenced by Age of Autism”
Time to thank AMC:
Per Liz’s request, I’ve set up a thread over at Silenced by Age of Autism if people want to make sure their comments at Age of Autism can still have a home.
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