Where Are the Atheist Advertisements in America? November 26, 2010

Where Are the Atheist Advertisements in America?

Karen Frantz, the Communications and Policy Director for the American Humanist Association, wrote a blog post for her graduate school online magazine about all the atheist advertisements in America that popped up in 2010.

Atheist advertising isn’t new — many organizations have been advertising on billboards and buses and in newspapers and magazines for the last few years. However, efforts have picked up in 2010, especially with the formation of the United Coalition of Reason, a national organization that helps local groups with funding for atheist ad campaigns in their areas.

The piece included a really interesting map, marking the locations of all the ads (and which of them were vandalized).

Looks like we’re covering a broad area of the country, but there are many big cities left to go! (I’m looking at you, atheists in Wyoming. Get to it!)

Do you think there will be more of these atheist ads in 2011 or fewer? Are they losing their effectiveness or have we only seen the tip of the iceberg?

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  • There could be more ads, but it depends on who will finance them. Ads aren’t cheap.

  • Mike G.

    Not just Wyoming, that nothingness extends all the way south! Here in New Mexico I don’t know of any active Atheist groups… So I had to start one at the University. I could only dream of having such funding to advertise like some of the other groups.

  • mkb

    Mike G, congratulations for starting a group at your university. There is also the Humanist Society of New Mexico in Albuquerque, http://www.humanistsocietyofnm.org/

  • We had one in Nashville, TN, but it doesn’t appear to be on the map. 🙁

  • I think that Alaska needs one too. Sarah Palin needs to be filmed standing in front of an atheist sign. For the lols.

  • Christopher

    There are no big cities in Wyoming.

  • Karen

    @Micah — What are the details of the campaign (who ran it, what was the slogan, was it a billboard, bus sign, etc?) I’ll add it to the map!

  • Scott T

    Hey, Mike G. I’m new to New Mexico and living in Albuquerque since 2008. Been thinking of joining the Humanist Society of New Mexico after a visit to one of their meetings. Lemme know if you wanna check it out.

  • «bønez_brigade»

    The CFI group in Tucson [CFI-SAZ] snatched up some billboard space back in February:

    (The timing for the pic in that article was perfect, btw.)


    Btw2, *thumbs up* for the location map.

  • Anything like this in Canada?

  • Claudia

    I’m looking at you, Utah! Get cracking!

  • NotYou007

    Billboards are not allowed in the state of Maine and the public transportation sector is very limited so I doubt Maine will see anything in the coming moons.

  • lurker111

    I’ve always felt that the vandalized billboards were more effective than the originals.

  • Richard Wade


    I think that Alaska needs one too. Sarah Palin needs to be filmed standing in front of an atheist sign. For the lols.

    Your wish is fulfilled.

  • i currently live in MI and i’ve never seen one here.

  • Pete

    How about one for Utah.

    Maybe ?.God most likely doesnt exist,why wear uncomfortable underwear.

  • flatlander100

    Utah has a fairly big city: Salt Lake City. Be nice to see some of those billboards appear right in the belly of the beast… so to speak.

  • From what I hear, atheists are planning to raise a billboard here in Omaha, NE. I’m still rooting for a counterpoint to all the creepy god billboards along the South Dakota Interstate system.

  • Whit

    I am actually glad Maine simply does not allow any billboards, I love highway drives looking at little but trees, mountains, farms and the passing towns.

    But I would not be surprised to see more ads going up, as atheism as a whole seems to be on an upswing so we may see more groups openly advertising.

  • Jagyr

    I’d like to see one up here in Vermont, however, billboards and large roadside signs are illegal here, and I’d rather keep it that way – so no atheist billboards for me.

  • I hope they increase.

    I’m surprised to hear that so many states ban billboards. It’s kind of comforting. Big business stymied some place at least.

    Perhaps radio, TV, newspaper ads for those places?

  • LeAnne

    i would looove to see one in nebraska. people would shit.

  • I think they should focus on heavily religious and conservative places. For example, the Consider Humanism campaign came to San Francisco, but I’d rather they saved their money for someplace where it’s really needed. I’ve never felt uncomfortable or marginalized as an atheist here, and I think places like Utah or Alabama would benefit more from the campaign. If the goal is to reach isolated atheists, I think it’s better to focus on communities where they are far outnumbered and feel alone.

  • Silent Service

    It looks like they missed the billboard in Cincinnati. The sponsor was even forced to move it by threats against it.

  • Utah is blank, and it may be some time before we ever see one here. I can promise that if we do, I will get my picture taken in front it.

  • walkamungus

    I’m a Wyoming native. The one unifying characteristic of Wyoming residents, regardless of gender, age, religious (or atheist) affliation, income level, sexual orientation, political stripe, educational level, etc., is that they hate being told what they ‘should’ do or think by anyone outside the state. This inherent pigheadedness contrarianism must be in the water, because I’ve never met a Wyomingite (native or imported) who didn’t react like this at various times, including some really strange times. The state motto should be “Leave us alone.” An atheist billboard as part of a national campaign wouldn’t be well-received on principle; a local, grassroots effort would fare better and be more likely to have an effect.

    On the other hand, in Wyoming towns, bars generally outnumber churches, so they’re doing something right. 🙂

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