San Diego Airport Agrees to Run Anti-SeaWorld Ad After PETA/ACLU Lawsuit

Airport Had Refused to Run Ad Featuring Veep Actor Kathy Najimy

For Immediate Release:
May 21, 2014

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

San Diego – One of the first things travelers will see now when they arrive at San Diego International Airport is an ad featuring Veep actor and San Diego native Kathy Najimy that says, “Welcome to San Diego!” But not too far below that, the sign’s message takes a more serious turn, reading, “Please Avoid SeaWorld.”

When:   Thursday, May 22, noon

Where:  San Diego International Airport, Terminal 2 Baggage Claim, 3225 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101

PETA and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the airport last month for refusing to run the ad, and now the airport and ad vendor JCDecaux have settled with PETA outside of court and have agreed to run the ad for a month as the summer tourism season gets underway. PETA plans to unveil the campaign on Thursday at Terminal 2, where the ad will now be seen daily by thousands of travelers awaiting their bags.                       

“Nothing is more fundamental to the First Amendment than the principle that government may not silence speech because of its viewpoint,” says David Loy, legal director at the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties. “We are glad this case resulted in the vindication of PETA’s free-speech right to reach San Diego visitors on the same terms as any other advertiser.”

SeaWorld has been in a free fall ever since the critically acclaimed documentaryBlackfish exposed its cruel methods of capturing and confining marine animals. While orcas in the wild travel up to 100 miles per day, SeaWorld relegates them to tiny tanks filled with chemically treated water. At least 25 orcas have died in SeaWorld facilities since 1986.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind