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August 22, 2008
1:06 PM

CONTACT: Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)

Aaron Huertas Assistant Press Secretary 202-331-5458

UCS Anti-Nuclear-Weapons Ad Removed from Denver Airport

Action Follows Companion Ad's Removal in Minneapolis

WASHINGTON - August 22 - Clear Channel Communications removed an anti-nuclear-weapons billboard at Denver International Airport yesterday, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has learned. The company had already removed a companion advertisement in the Minneapolis airport after Northwest, the official airline of the Republican National Convention, forwarded complaints that the billboard there was "scary" and "anti-McCain."

Only yesterday, Chuck Cannon, director of public affairs at the Denver International Airport confirmed the airport did not have a problem with the ad.  As reported in Advertising Age on Wednesday, Cannon said, "While no one has complained yet, my first response would not be to take it down."

Lisbeth Gronlund, a physicist and co-director of UCS's Global Security Program said the ads were meant to highlight an important issue. "The Cold War ended nearly 20 years ago, but the United States and Russia still have many thousands of nuclear weapons, and each keeps more than a thousand on hair-trigger alert, ready to launch within a matter of minutes," said Gronlund. "It is scary. We need a public debate about U.S. nuclear weapons policy, and that's why we developed these ads."

The UCS ads were directed at both presidential candidates, and urged each of them to make addressing the threat of nuclear weapons a high priority. The billboards at the Minneapolis and Denver airports were timed to appear during the Republican and Democratic conventions. The Minneapolis billboard had been on display since August 13. The Denver billboard was posted last Friday.   The Denver version features an image of downtown Denver with target crosshairs superimposed on it. "When only one nuclear bomb could destroy a city like Denver," the headline reads, "we don't need 6,000." The subhead states: "Senator Obama: It's time to get serious about reducing the nuclear threat." The Minneapolis billboard featured an image of that city and addressed the same statement to Sen. John McCain.   The billboards are a part of a larger UCS media campaign that includes smaller versions in bars and restaurants around the convention sites. The group also bought Web ads on Minnesota and Colorado political blog sites.




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