St. Pete Pride gay-themed digital billboards rejected by Clear Channel Outdoor

11:19 PM, Jun 11, 2010   |    comments
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  • This closeup of a proposed billboard promoting St. Pete Pride was rejected by Clear Channel Outdoor
  • This closeup of a proposed billboard promoting St. Pete Pride was accepted by Clear Channel Outdoor
  • This closeup of a proposed billboard promoting St. Pete Pride was rejected by Clear Channel Outdoor
  • This closeup of a proposed billboard promoting St. Pete Pride was accepted by Clear Channel Outdoor
    

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - Two of the four billboards St. Pete Pride had planned on buying to promote its upcoming festival were rejected by Clear Channel Outdoor, prompting the organization to cancel its pending contract with the outdoor advertising giant.

One rejected billboard features a pair of men - shirtless, presumably at a beach - smiling for a photo with the caption "My family is fun."  The other billboard that was rejected features a pair of women lying down at the beach together - presumably in the moment before a kiss - with the caption, "My family is free."

Photo Gallery: See full-size pictures of the accepted and rejected gay-themed billboards

In an email to Clear Channel Outdoor, St. Pete Pride Executive Director Chris Rudisill wrote, "the images that were not selected do not contain anything that is sexual, immoral, illegal or otherwise offensive in nature."

"I'm almost certain that you have had billboards in the market which display men and women in both friendly and romantic ways," he continued.  "I can't seem to understand where these images would be any different, except for the fact that they portray two men and two women, respectively."

St. Pete Pride is preparing to host its eighth annual festival to promote unity and a positive image of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people around Tampa Bay.

In past years, Clear Channel has edited St. Pete Pride's submitted messages, but this year, the organization says it submitted much-less controversial billboards.

"St. Pete Pride is determined to focus its message on the family aspect of the GLBT community," said Rudisill in a press release.  "Therefore, (we) would not allow Clear Channel to dictate what message we could convey."

One of the approved billboards had an apparent drag queen in leather with the caption "My family is fierce."  The other approved billboard had two men on a couch with a toddler and the caption "My family is fabulous & fearless."

Clear Channel Outdoor wouldn't say why it rejected two of the billboards, but said, "as a matter of policy, we don't discuss creative decisions on signage."

"We do think its important to refute suggestions that (Clear Channel Outdoor) is not willing to display images of (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) couples showing affection," continued Tom O'Neill, Clear Channel's V.P. of Public Affairs for the Tampa Bay Division.  "Previous years' campaigns for St. Pete Pride prove that is not the case."

 

 

Follow 10 Connects reporter Noah Pransky on Twitter at www.twitter.com/noahpransky or Facebook at www.facebook.com/noahpransky.

Noah Pransky, 10 Connects

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