Bold atheists have been buying ad space on buses in London and Washington DC—it’s been a successful tactic for raising the profile of godless groups, and has also been somewhat controversial. The Atheist Foundation of Australia sought to emulate those successes, and met an obstacle: the ad company simply refused to allow them to buy ad space, without giving a reason, and you can tell it was simply religious bigotry behind the decision.
It’s not as if they were trying to put up abusive or profane messages. Here are some of the slogans they suggested.
We started off with “Atheism – because there is no credible evidence”, we put that to the bus companies, they didn’t like that and they said the wording wasn’t to their acceptance. And then we changed that to “Celebrate reason” and thought we’d make it a bit comical “Sleep in on Sunday mornings”, but they refused that also.
This refusal is coming from the same company, APN Outdoor, that previously ran Bible verses on buses — it’s clearly simple bias that is behind their decision. I hope someone is considering legal action, since this kind of asymmetry that closes channels of communication to one side of a public issue means the ad company is arbitrarily imposing their faith-based beliefs on others.