Friday, December 16, 2005
After allowing us to reserve a billboard less than a mile from Wal-Mart’s World HQ, Clear Channel has refused to accept our ad, censoring the message that you selected about Wal-Mart. Bob Sadler, Clear Channel’s Fort Smith, Ark., division president, unilaterally made the decision. To try to rationalize his censorship, he forwarded a copy of Clear Channel’s official content review policy which stated:
"I wish I could offer objective guidelines for reviewing copy, but I can’t. Frankly, I think these kinds of issues need to be viewed the way Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart approached a very controversial pornography case many years ago: "You know it when you see it."
This is outrageous. Our ad isn’t pornography. It is a clear statement of the truth about Wal-Mart. Mr. Sadler is suppressing free speech out of fear of offending Wal-Mart.
Clear Channel owns more billboards than any other company in America and over 1,200 radio stations nationwide. It is simply outrageous that they would use this power to suppress speech -- even a message that we are prepared to pay for. We have to let Clear Channel know that their censorship is unacceptable. Please send an email to Bob Sadler, the man who rejected your billboard, and demand that he not suppress speech to placate Wal-Mart.