The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

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


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.

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.