Clear Channel Outdoor had a change of heart on Thursday, opting to pull anti-gun signs from its billboards in Massachusetts which were initially donated to support a campaign against gun-related violence, the Boston Globe reports.
“This campaign has become politicized and misconstrued as a political position by our company, so we have taken it down,” Clear Channel spokesman David Grabert said in a statement.
Grabert cited “a number of messages expressing concern” about the signs, most likely from pro-gun control advocates who felt the message crossed the line from anti-violence to anti-gun.
Gun Owners’ Action League, an NRA affiliate organization, help to lead the charge to put pressure on the advertising giant to either remove the signs altogether or post pro-gun signs to represent a balanced perspective.
“I’m certainly glad they have decided to pull the ads. I hope they’re doing it for the right reasons,” Jim Wallace, executive director of GOAL told the Globe, adding that the signs were “inaccurate and misleading.”
The signs read, “We’re not anti-gun. We’re pro-life. Massachusetts Gun Laws Save Lives,” and displayed a Bushmaster XM-15 with a white flag in the barrel.
John Rosenthal, cofounder of the Massachusetts-based Stop Handgun Violence, was the one who organized the campaign and created the messaging. He accused GOAL of “bullying” Clear Channel.
“It’s the same intimidation tactics that have worked for GOAL so effectively before,” said Rosenthal.
Meanwhile, Wallace said he’s happy to work with Clear Channel on ways to reduce gun-related accidents.
“In the future, if they want to put ads out about firearm safety — how to properly store a gun or get the right training — we would work with them on that.”