By Dave Andrusko
Let me see if I got this straight. When Carafem Health Center, which in the words of the Washington Post earlier this year, “promises a ‘spa-like’ experience for women with a very open and unabashed approach to pregnancy termination,” plops an ad for its services on the Washington metro, it is not running an “advocacy” ad.
Because if it did, the Metro couldn’t accept the ad. Why? Because (according to the Post’s Lori Aratani), after a scuffle over another group’s advocacy ads, the Metro’s board of directors last May “opted to ban all new advocacy ads for the rest of the year.”
But, not to worry. The whole thing was a mistake, a “miscommunication.” Carafem had already run an ad campaign on the metro and the third-party ad vendor misunderstood when Carafem came back for a second ad campaign.
Arantani wrote that Metro spokeswoman Morgan Dye send an e-mail in which Dye wrote “Metro did not receive, has not reviewed and has not declined this submission.” wrote
“There was an apparent miscommunication between our third-party ad vendor and the advertiser. The ad will be reviewed as soon as the creative is received by us, as is our standard process.”
Two hours later, Dye sent a second e-mail
“UPDATE: Metro’s Office of General Counsel has received, reviewed and approved Carafem’s ad.”
Melissa Grant, Carafem’s vice president of health services, “said the ads aren’t meant to be political; they simply advertise some of the services offered at the health center,” Arantani wrote.
Grant was “surprised but pleased” by the reversal of the rejection and
said Carafem hopes to run the ads starting next month and again in January in six Metro stations: Foggy Bottom, Eastern Market, Dupont Circle, Shaw/Howard, U Street and Woodley Park. It expects to spend roughly $20,000 on the campaign. The center also had hoped to place the ads on Metrobuses, but all available space had been purchased.
The previous ad campaign that ran in April included an ad that read, “Abortion. Yeah we do that.”
According to Aratani
“Abortions. Yeah we do that” read the [new] ad. “Birth Control. Yeah we do that too” it continued.
In a previous Post story, written back in May, Paul Duggan wrote
Transit officials said the board, after more consideration, could vote to make the ban on issue-related ads permanent or extend it into 2016, a presidential election year, when demand for campaign ad space would be exceptionally high.
For more about Carafem’s abortion clinic, located in Chevy Chase, Maryland, see here.