Group Decides to Influence Lamar Advertising From the Inside
For Immediate Release:
April 14, 2020
David Perle 202-483-7382
Baton Rouge, La. – PETA is the newest shareholder in Lamar Advertising—one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in North America—and it plans to use this purchase to attend Lamar’s annual meeting and push its CEO to overturn its corporate policy of blocking all PETA ads. The policy was enacted in 2017, apparently in order to appease SeaWorld, which objected to a provocative PETA billboard calling for the release of the long-suffering orca Tilikum. A Lamar representative told PETA that after seeing the billboard, then–SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby was “off the deep end” over it, which led to the company’s decision.
Since then, Lamar has refused to run PETA ads about any animal welfare issue, no matter how benign, including ones reminding people to bring dogs indoors during sweltering-hot and freezing-cold temperatures—an essential message in the rural parts of North Carolina where PETA helps neglected “backyard dogs.” PETA has repeatedly offered to work with Lamar to meet any guidelines but to no avail.
“Lamar Advertising placated SeaWorld at the expense of captive animals who are being driven insane inside their concrete cells,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is going directly to the CEO and to the company’s shareholders to fight for the opportunity to post our lifesaving billboards.”
A lack of Lamar billboards notwithstanding, PETA’s campaign against SeaWorld continues: Last week, PETA offered interim SeaWorld CEO Marc Swanson a quarter of a million dollars to help build a seaside sanctuary for the orcas and other dolphins in its beleaguered abusement parks, which have furloughed 90% of employees and are currently closed to visitors.
Other PETA billboards blocked by Lamar include ones blasting the Bandera Ham Rodeo in Texas and Texas A&M University’s muscular dystrophy experiments on dogs as well as an ad showing Oscar winner and PETA 2019 “Person of the Year” Joaquin Phoenix appearing with a chicken and the words “We Are All Animals. End Speciesism.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.