New York bus company rejects STD ad

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com March 20 2003 12:00 AM ET

The advertising agency for New York state bus company Centro has rejected a public health ad encouraging sexually transmitted disease prevention and testing because agency officials say mentioning the STDs by name in the ad "might upset some bus riders," The [Syracuse, N.Y.] Post Standard reports. The proposed ad read, "After a night of unprotected sex, you might not go home alone," and included a list of eight STDs, including syphilis, herpes, HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B, and human papillomavirus. The ad, created by the CNY HIV Care Network and paid for by a state health department grant, also urged viewers to call the AIDS Community Resources toll-free hotline for additional information.

Arnie Rothschild, president of Normal Communications, Centro's ad agency, objected to the list of STDs. "There are people who have relatives with these diseases," he said. "They might get upset. Is it really a necessary part of the ad?" Stephen Waldron of the CNY HIV Care Network said his agency was unwilling to make any changes to the ad. The ad would have appeared on placard cards in 57 buses in Syracuse as well as in buses and bus shelters in Oswego and Auburn.