Ad giant apologises for anti-abortion billboard targeting Labour's Stella Creasy


Ad giant Clear Channel have apologised over a billboard posters targeting Labour MP Stella Creasy over her views on abortion.

The huge advert, which had been posted in her constituency, featured a large image of a foetus, claiming showed ‘nine weeks’ of gestation.

It was paid for by American anti-abortion lobbying group he Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBRUK) – who have targeted Ms Creasy with a website attacking her pro-choice views.

She called on the Metropolitan Police to act to “stop the harassment” and pleaded with Home Secretary Priti Patel to intervene.

Clear Channel, on whose billboard the poster appeared, apologised in a tweet.


 

The tweet read: “We apologise for a recent billboard campaign in Walthamstow.

“We have removed this campaign and are reviewing our internal processes.”

And in a statement, the firm said: “We sincerely apologise for any offence that has been caused by a recent campaign which we ran in Walthamstow on behalf of a customer.

“As an Out-of-Home media owner, we take a neutral stance towards all advertising and have robust procedures in place to ensure that the creatives we run comply with the UK Advertising Codes.

“While this campaign met these requirements, we accept that the content should have been scrutinised in greater detail and should not have been displayed.

“We are reviewing the internal processes we have in place regarding the campaigns and content we run, to prevent an issue like this from happening again.”

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Fellow MP Rosie Duffield said of the posters: “This is offensive and it is harassment.

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“Our laws ensure women have full autonomy over their bodies and theirs is the right to choose”

But Ruth Rawlins, of CBRUK, said: “We will, in the near future, be holding other MPs to account.”

The group is an offshoot of a US pro-life charity founded by a Republican state politician.

It is using the Twitter hashtag #StopStella as part of its campaign and includes a graphic image of what is claims is a nine-week-old foetus on the billboard ads.

Its website says: “Stella Creasy deliberately conceals in all her public statements and dialogue on abortion – the humanity of the unborn child and what an abortion procedure actually entails.

“Yet when she is speaking about her own baby in her womb, and her previous miscarriages, she speaks openly on their humanity.”

It adds: “We are saturating Walthamstow, MP Stella Creasy’s constituency, with the humanity of the unborn child and the reality of abortion, whilst highlighting to constituents how their MP is working hard to promote abortion as a ‘human right’.”

But Labour MP Wes Streeting hit back: “Just so we’re clear about what’s happening here, protesters have made it clear that they are targeting Stella while she is pregnant because she is pregnant.

“We’re all accountable for our decisions and open to disagreement and debate, but this is appalling.”

An Advertising Standards Agency spokeswoman said: “We have received around 100 complaints about this ad and we are at the stage of carefully assessing them to see if there are grounds to take any further action.”

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The watchdog hoped to “get this matter resolved quickly, in the next day or so”, she added.





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