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AIDS Walk Organizers Beat Ad Censorship

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Organizers of Washington DC’s AIDS Walk WILL be allowed to use the words AIDS and HIV in movie theatre ads for the event, despite what it had been told by distributors.

The Whitman Walker Clinic decided this year to raise awareness of the city’s AIDS epidemic, and the AIDS Walk, by advertising in movie theaters. So the group submitted an ad to the company National CineMedia, which produces and distributes ads to local theaters around the country.

Clinic communications director Chip Lewis says they were told the ad couldn’t run as they had written it.

Lewis: Our opening tagline of ‘one in every 20 adults in DC has HIV.’ had to either be dropped or changed to their recommendation of ‘one in every 20 adults in DC has a socially transmitted disease.’

A list of ad guidelines produced by National CineMedia states “No pro-choice/pro-life, or mention of sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS/HIV testing; sperm or egg donations.” But once company management found out that the AIDS Walk ad had been rejected, they stepped in.

Lewis: “The company did come back to us, very apologetic, said the ad had been approved as-is. Apparently the list of restrictions they have are not set in stone. They’re guidelines, sort of red flags for anything that might be offensive material. It was a – as they put it – overzealous young employee who made the decision on this without bumping it up to upper management.”

Lewis says the ads will run in DC movie theaters for four weeks, starting June 26th.

 -Aaron McQuade

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Written by OutQ News staff

June 11, 2009 at 4:15 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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