In January, the Sudbury Transit Authority (in Ontario, Canada) approved a month-long ad campaign for the Sudbury branch of the Centre for Inquiry with the message “Don’t believe in God? You’re not alone!”
It’s a simple, non-offensive statement that basically amounts to we exist!
And it worked: Not only did the group’s physical membership grow, the number of “Likes” on their Facebook page doubled too. So the group wanted to bring it back to headquarters to celebrate and take some pictures with it before using it in a second campaign this spring:
… they wanted to keep the ad as a piece of history, marking the first time a secular group in Northern Ontario advertised itself.
“As far as I know, it’s only the second time in Canada,” [group leader Spencer] Lucas said. “So it was a rare thing, and for Sudbury it was a first. So yeah, it was a pretty big deal to us.
“A lot of our members were excited about it, and would have gotten a real kick to see the sign in person, since most didn’t get to see it on the bus, other than in photos.”
Lucas went to the Transit Authority to pick up the ad, but he wasn’t expecting to hear this:
After repeated calls to the city and to BK Marketing, which handles advertising for Sudbury Transit, Lucas was told the ad might have blown away, which sometimes happens.
“It had survived for some time already, so I highly doubt that’s what happened to it,” he said. “That seems suspicious to me.”
It blew away… sure it did…
It may seem like an insignificant problem, but the Sudbury group had just come up with enough money to run the ad for another month. Now, they’ll also have to find another $155 to purchase a replacement ad.
Any guesses as to what really happened are pure speculation at this point, but Lucas informed me that there were over a dozen complaints made about the ad since it went up — including ones from a government official and a bus driver. It’d be very coincidental if this ad happened to be among the few that accidentally disappear.
If you’d like to help the Sudbury group recoup their campaign costs, you can chip in by clicking the link below: