A Times Square billboard funded by Dr. Mercola and the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is causing a stir amongst medical professionals. The digital billboard displays the above 15 second message every hour for 18 hours of the day. Owned by CBS Outdoors, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is accusing the outdoor media giant of “putting children’s lives at risk” and demands the advertisement be removed.
The Guardian reports:
Mercola and the NVIC use the ad to endorse their websites, linking the public to what the AAP deems “misinformation” – a barrage of articles blaming common ingredients in vaccines for a number of health problems from breast cancer to infertility.
The NVIC publishes a disclaimer on almost every article, assuring readers that it is not anti-vaccination – despite the fact its spokesperson, Playboy model Jenny McCarthy, has publicly described vaccinations as“a product that’s shit”.
For Mercola, NVIC and McCarthy, thimerosal – a mercury-containing preservative – is Public Enemy Number One. All three insist there has been a direct connection between vaccines containing thimerosal and the increasing number of children being diagnosed with autism…
As a precautionary measure thimerosal has been reduced or eliminated from vaccines in the US and Europe, but in 2010 it was proved that the preservative was not linked to autism and the AAP is keen to defend it.
On 13 April, Dr Marion Burton, president of the AAP, wrote to Wally Kelly, CBS Outdoor chairman, describing her organisation as having “worked hard to protect children and their families from unfounded and unscientific misinformation regarding vaccine safety”. It seems the 15-second ad is undoing all its hard work.
NVIC describes that ad, as you can view above:
The 15 second spot includes the logos of NVIC and Mercola.com and a photo of a Mom with her baby. It begins with the message Vaccines: Know the Risks and ends with the message Vaccination: Your Health. Your Family. Your Choice with the statue of liberty in the background.
I personally think the ad is rather benign. All it promotes vaccine education. What do we have to fear from educated health choices? 49 shots before the age of six is a lot, but the ad does not go into such details.
Instead of demanding the ad be removed from the JumboTron, why doesn’t the AAP run a counter ad? What about freedom of speech? Will the AAP next ask Dr. Mercola’s and the NVIC’s servers to pull their websites?