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5 Mar, 2010 21:41

RT limited to promotional posters in US airports

Controversial ads seem like the only way to get attention in the crowded US marketplace, but RT's recent ad campaign was deemed to have crossed the line.

 In the United States, advertising is everywhere. Everyone with something to sell wants the attention of the public, so when an organization wants to get its message out, the advertising campaign has to be truly spectacular.

Take PETA, for example. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is known for their ad campaigns that push the limits of society. In one recent campaign, the group played on the annual State of the Union Address, using the evening of the traditional speech given by the US president to unveil its "State of the Union Undress," featuring an attractive young woman taking off her clothes while talking about PETA's values.

"The reason that we’re doing provocative ads is because otherwise unfortunately issues about animal suffering aren’t going to get the attention that they deserve," said PETA representative Ashley Byrne.

PETA isn't the only group adopting similar tactics. An anti-abortion group in the state of Georgia put up a billboard equating abortion with the genocide of African-Americans.

And RT has embraced the philosophy as well with it's controversial ad campaign, which was banned in the US even as it won awards in the UK. Airports in the United States did, however, allow RT to put up promotional posters.

When shown the scandalous ads, frequent flyers at Baltimore-Washington International Airport were non-plussed.

"They’re very thoughtful I mean they make you stop and think," said one traveler.

"I like them….there really is no truth, it just depends which side you are on," said another. 

Several travelers said that banning the ads was wrong.

"It's oppression of free speech…general oppression of ideas," said one flyer.

"A provocative ad could mean the difference between these issues going ignored and getting the issues into the spotlight of the media,"
said PETA's Byrne.

But the RT ads showed what can happen when the media finds itself in the spotlight.