CBS Outdoors is being sued for refusing to put up the anti-abortion display for which the group “Life Education Counsel” paid them, claiming their message and graphic was too issue-oriented.
Via Courthouse News:
But CBS told the plaintiffs that “CBS did not approve LEC’s art work due to its ‘issue oriented message’” and asked it to consider “changing ‘Abortion kills babies’ to something like ‘Life Education Counsel can help,’” according to the complaint. T
he group says CBS employee Diane Curry told it in a phone call “that CBS did not approve LEC’s art work due to its ‘issue oriented message’ because some people don’t believe ‘abortion kills babies.’ Diane Curry advised that she agreed with LEC’s message but CBS does not allow ‘issue oriented messages.’”
This phone call came on Nov. 1, 2010, but the group said it had sent a signed agreement to CBS Outdoor in October, with an $1,100 check, which was cashed.
The Counsel says it responded by offering “Abortion Stops a Beating Heart” as an alternative, but CBS “indicated there was still a problem,” and that the artwork would be approved only if a picture of a baby was cut from the ad.
The group’s spokesperson, Betty LaRosa, complained that the advertiser was attempting to “dilute” their message, and is suing for $7500 in potential lost donations, two years of free advertising on another billboard, and other damages.
Betty LaRosa is the head of the New Jersey Republicans Pro-Life Coalition. A google search shows no existence of a Life Education Counsel, an incredibly vague and benign name for an anti-choice group. Is it diabolical to suggest that perhaps an approach was made and an agreement signed between CBS and LEC with CBS having no idea who the group was and what they would want in their billboard, and only after learned that LEC would want to put up advertising that goes against the company’s mission? And would it be even more diabolical to suggest that perhaps such a gambit could then bring LEC a net profit of $6,000 or more in settlement, as well as two years of free advertising, all with very little effort, allowing this group to then settle in quite nicely as well as garner publicity through a lawsuit?
If, of course, the Life Education Counsel exists at all.