By Mary Platts
The American Academy of Pediatrics has urged CBS Outdoor to take down the advertisement funded by anti-vaccine groups.
For 17 days, every hour for 15 seconds, a controversial message is being sold to the American public via a CBS billboard in Times Square, New York. A photograph of a mother cradling her naked baby is accompanied by the words: “Vaccines: Know the risks.” This image is faded out, and replaced by the Statue of Liberty and “Vaccination. Your Health. Your Family. Your Choice.”
The advert is paid for and endorsed by the non-profit National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) and Mercola.com (self-proclaimed World’s Number 1 Natural Health Website), and will be shown until 28 April.
CBS Outdoor has faced a massive backlash for its choice of clientele: both NVIC and Mercola are viewed by many as anti-vaccine propagandists.
In particular, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), one of the many organisations responsible for testing the safety of vaccinations, is urging the company to remove the ad. It accuses CBS of putting the lives of children at risk by encouraging parents to delay or skip vaccination.
[Note from SaneVax: To the best of our knowledge, there is a rather large difference between being anti-vaccine and being an advocate for the ability to make your own decisions regarding healthcare. If vaccines are as safe, effective and necessary as vaccine proponents say they are, there should be no problem with medical consumers doing their research before they decide which vaccines are right for their family. In fact, informed choice is one of the basic rights every human being should have when it comes to medical care and treatment.]