Anti-vaccine hysteria is coming to Times Square. CBS has sold ad space to the so-called National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) on its Times Square JumboTron. That group — whose mission is to spread anti-vaccine hysteria far and wide — will, if CBS allows it, run a video clip sponsored by known anti-vaccine activist Joe Mercola.
The ad — which begins with the message “Vaccines: Know the Risks” and ends “Vaccination: Your Health. Your Family. Your Choice.” — recommends that viewers visit the NVIC and Mercola websites. The campaign coincides with the upcoming Infant Immunization Awareness week, April 23 to 30. NVIC and Mercola’s message may appear benign, but their websites are dominated by false assertions regarding vaccine safety, such as indisputably false claims that they cause autism and learning disabilities.
ACSH’s Lana Spivak points out that in the past, CBS has banned a pro-marijuana ad from its JumboTron in order to be more politically correct, but “I think airing an ad campaign that encourages the spread of infectious diseases which have sickened thousands of children this year, and only recently killed ten infants in California, is politically incorrect.”
“To send viewers to a site that promulgates anti-vaccine superstitions is the epitome of irresponsible journalism,” says ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross. “How could CBS allow such fear-mongering quackery to be spread on their billboard. Such drivel will kill children!”
You can let CBS know how you feel about their complicity in hyping anti-vaccine quackery by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweeting @CBSoutdoors.