Rate the Ad: British Humanist Association: Atheist Bus Campaign

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Last time, we looked at a spot that got bumped from airing on ABC. From Al Gore's environmental action group the We Campaign, "Repower America" lists how big oil blocks clean energy with millions in lobbyists, ads and "even scandals." After Gore made headlines at the Clinton Global Initiative conference a few weeks back, ABC switched out the spot, which was originally scheduled to run during "20/20," for something a little less accusatory. The We Campaign has since asked its more than 1.5 million members via email to scold ABC into running the ad. Considering all the fuss, we wanted to know your take on ABC's actions. Was it motivated by big oil's ample ad purse? Did the We Campaign overreact?

In Rate the Adland, most couldn't see the politics for the bad creative. Commenter "jpfarrell19" says "Even though I agree with their intent, the spot itself is a total hack job - the kid with the blocks, the overdone dramatic music, the horrible pacing, unrecognizable newspaper clippings from God knows where, the outrageous claim at the end, etc. It's just plain bad. The We Campaign is probably better off if less people see it anyway. So, next time create something worth looking at - something with even a hint of intelligence - and let's discuss the air time that one receives."

Drawing parallels to the content of the spot, commenter "skris" says, "Even though the spot was terrible from a creative and content standpoint, it's sort of ironic that ABC refused to air it. Seems the ad's lobbying point was in play here."





This week, moving from country to God, we look to the United Kingdom, where one group is taking its Godless views on the bus. The British Humanist Association, an "ethically concerned and non-religious" group (translation: We don't believe in God) announced this week its plans to put the above poster on London buses. By Tuesday night, the organization had raised about $80,000 online to fund the ads, which are slated to roll out in January. What's more, BHA is counting evolutionary biologist and author of The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins in its corner--he's committed to match all donations up to 5,500 pounds sterling.

We want to know how you'd feel if this poster came rolling down your street. Should belief systems be advertised? If religious groups can advertise in public, shouldn't anti-religious groups? Do you think the messaging is effective or heavy-handed? Share your thoughts, secular or otherwise, below.

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