In an exclusive reported by by Tony Ortega, Outfront Media of New York has just, apparently, capitulated to Scientology censorship.
While HBO, Vanity Fair, CNN, ABC, CBS, BBC, the Los Angeles Times, and so many other media companies are not afraid to take on Scientology, Outfront Media cancelled without explanation a signed three month contract for a billboard in Hollywood that drew attention to Scientology’s toxic policy of Disconnection.
Outfront Media, Inc. (NYSE: OUT) wants to present an image of being a chic, hip, and edgy New York media company. However, Outfront Media’s capitulation to threats from Scientology is epic fail writ large.
Outfront Media Inc. ran away from Free Speech and ran in the direction of censorship. Adding to the ad firm’s capitulation to Scientology’s legal hustle, Outfront Media just reported a 4Q loss on February 25, 2016:
NEW YORK (AP) _ Outfront Media Inc. (OUT) on Thursday reported a fourth-quarter loss of $73.9 million, after reporting a profit in the same period a year earlier
With Outfront Media’s share price closing at $21.56 this past Friday –and the stock hovering near its 52 week low of $18.01 — five questions arise:
— Can Outfront Media be expected to cancel advertising contracts when a menacing oddball special interest group like Scientology protests? I can understand Sony having serious concerns about North Korea’s vengeful and retaliatory cyber-attack over its movie The Interview. But backing down to the Church of Scientology in 2016? Seriously? Scientology is not an insane rogue nation with nuclear weapons; it’s just a deranged American cult with some lawyers.
— Will Outfront Media’s management turn tail and run at the first sign of controversy?
— How can any advertiser be assured that their proposed ad campaign with Outfront Media is safe from sudden cancellation?
— Was Outfront Media Inc. intimidated by Scientology or did Scientology offer the firm a lucrative ad deal in exchange for killing the Stop Scientology Disconnection billboard? In either case it’s shameful. Will Outright Media be transparent on this matter? Can we expect a public statement?
— What is Outfront Media’s actual value proposition to investors and advertisers given its capitulation to Scientology?
Given this deplorable turn of events, Outfront Media management might as well play it safe and target markets with no controversy such as denture creams, shoe inserts, or oatmeal. I say this because Outfront Media looks like a lightweight corporation that can easily be pushed around by Scientology lawyers.
Time Warner was not afraid to greenlight HBO’s Going Clear, a documentary that went on to win three Emmy’s.
What award will Outfront Media Inc. win for cancelling a billboard contract that raised public awareness about Scientology breaking apart families by Disconnection? Will the ad firm be nominated for a Cowardice in Advertising Award?
If I were a CEO or a VP of Advertising I would not direct any business to Outfront Media Inc. until this firm got over its timidity and fear of controversy. There are better ad agencies out there.
This billboard cancellation is yet another case of Scientology 501(c)3 tax exempt dollars being spent to destroy Free Speech and enforce censorship.
The Church of Scientology likes to blather on and on about the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its phony “human rights” campaigns even as it constantly works to attack the central human right of Free Speech. Here is Scientology’s homepage where it touts human rights:
Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Scientology certainly interfered in the imparting of information through any media. Scientology’s true and correct version of Article 19 would read:
No one has the right to criticize the Church of Scientology, this due to our inherent fascism as a Master Race group.
Scientology’s glaring hypocrisy is nothing new.
Scientology’s attacks on Free Speech are nothing new. In 1960 Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard called for his fanatical followers to attack and control any entity that was hostile to Scientology.
The goal of the Department [of Government Affairs] is to bring the government and hostile philosophies or societies into a state of complete compliance with the goals of Scientology. This is done by high level ability to control, and in its absence, by low level ability to overwhelm. Introvert such agencies. Control such agencies.-L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL 15 August 1960, “Dept. of Govt. Affairs”(as quoted in Scientology’s Secret Service by Chris Owen)
Outfront Media Inc. was just controlled by L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology.
Someone please tell Outfront Media’s CEO Jeremy J. Male that he made a very bad decision that reflects poorly on both him and his company.