Anti-vax Times Square ad progress

UPDATE: The Guardian is now covering our efforts! You are some seriously rad mofos!


Unfortunately, we’re still fighting CBS Outdoor to even acknowledge our complaint that showing anti-vaccine ads in Times Square is a bad and dangerous idea. So while we’re down here fighting to stop the spread of deadly misinformation, CBS executives are on a boat called the Meningitis Mermaid, having a board meeting that involves nothing but a competitive hundred-dollar-bill and waterballoon fight… allegedly.

In the meantime, we’ve managed to get the attention of some big guns. Yesterday afternoon Autism News Beat reported that the American Academy of Pediatrics have added their voice to the dissenting angry choir-mob.

April 13, 2011

Mr. Wally Kelly
Chairman and CEO
CBS Outdoor
405 Lexington Ave., 14th floor
New York, NY 10174

Dear Mr. Kelly,
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) objects to the paid advertisement/public service message from the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) being shown throughout the month of April on the CBS JumboTron in Times Square, New York. The AAP and many other child health organizations have worked hard to protect children and their families from unfounded and unscientific misinformation regarding vaccine safety. Vaccines are safe.

By providing advertising space to an organization like the NVIC, which opposes the nation’s recommended childhood immunization schedule and promotes the unscientific practice of delaying or skipping vaccines altogether, you are putting the lives of children at risk, leaving them unprotected from vaccine-preventable diseases. Diseases like measles and pertussis (whooping cough) can have serious consequences, including seizures, brain damage and even death. From January 1 through December 31, 2010, 9,477 cases of pertussis (including ten infant deaths) were reported throughout California. This is the most cases reported in 65 years there.

The AAP’s 60,000 member pediatricians urge you to remove these harmful messages, which fail to inform the public about the safety of life-saving vaccines. Please do your part to help reassure parents that vaccinating their children on schedule is the best way to protect them from deadly diseases.


O. Marion Burton, MD, FAAP

While it’s unlikely this will make a difference to CBS, it’s nice to have our little grass-roots effort endorsed by the AAP.

If you’d like to help, instructions on how to get involved are available in my original action alert and updated action alert.

And sign the petition
Elyse the Vaccinator by Surly Amy



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.

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  1. Elyse, and Surly Amy, I just wanted to say that I think the We Can Do It! poster/badge whateveryoucallit is absolutely brilliant.

    And it’s very good news to read that the AAP has added their voice to the objectors list. Hopefully more professional organizations with serious weight will add theirs as well.

  2. Can we please stop calling this NVIC thing a “public service message?” It’s a public disservice message.

  3. It just makes it that much more frustrating that it’s happening my backyard. Let me know if we have to picket!

    1. Well we’re not getting anywhere so far.

      Picketing isn’t a bad plan but I think we need more.

      I wish there was a way to legally block the ad when it plays. Like getting a cheerleader pyramid to stand in front of it or something. Or get someone to throw money on the sidewalk when it plays so everyone looks down instead of at the screen.

      1. If I had the money I would totally do the second one.

        And not because of the ad. Just because if I had enough money to throw on a sidewalk in Times Square, I would throw money on a sidewalk in Times Square.

        I’d also yell “IT’S RAINING MOFOS!”

        Not to be confused with “It’s raining, mofos!” Because it would actually be raining mofos. I would not be addressing the mofos.

        1. Perhaps my plan is too grammatically difficult to pull off.

          Maybe I’d just yell MOFO MONEY IN THE SKY BITCHEZ!

          I suppose it doesn’t matter much. I have time to work on the plan given that I have, according to JP Morgan Chase, -$17 to my name.

  4. Could you please show the date of posts somewhere on the site? Im kind of lost without that.

      1. Until it gets sorted, you can always check the first comment. Those are generally posted within a half hour of an article going up.

  5. I signed the petition but then I wondered if having foreigners like me sign might actually work against you?
    If you give the nod, I will try and spread the word where I work.
    This does affect us, there is already an antivax chapter doing damage here, led by an American. It would be nice to help fight at the source.

    1. CBS Outdoor is a multinational corporation with branches in 15 countries. I encourage non-Americans to voice their outrage!

      In fact, the first major news organization to cover the debacle is the Guardian.

  6. I’ve been passing this around, and discovering how many of my friends’ friends’ are morons.
    I’ve signed the petition and I won’t stop harassing them. Keep up the good work!

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