DC Archdiocese Sues Over Rejected Transit Christmas Ad

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DC Archdiocese Sues Over Rejected Transit Christmas Ad

As for the Christmas ads, the archdiocese says it hopes the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C., will issue an injunction and order W.M.A.T.A.to accept the ads for this Advent, which begins December 3.

The rejected advertisement promotes the Archdiocese of Washington's annual "Find the Perfect Gift" initiative.

He said that WMATA put out a statement saying that the ad is "prohibited. under current advertising guidelines", adding that the possibility of "differing opinions" added to the decision.

The Archdiocese of Washington is suing Metro after the transit agency rejected its Christmas season ads that urge worshippers to "Find the Perfect Gift". Chieko Noguchi, the spokesperson of the church said the metro advertisement was particularly made to avoid such a scenario. "In terms of visibility, reach, and frequency, no other media type provides a substitute for bus advertising in the metropolitan area, especially with regard to the audience the Archdiocese most wants to reach with the "Find the Perfect Gift" campaign".

However, the ad might have been caught by another WMATA rule that broadly proscribes "advertisements meant to influence members of the public regarding an issue on which there are varying opinions".

The ad shows a group of shepherds walking up a mountain and encourages Metro and bus passengers to visit a church this Christmas season. The Archdiocese did not propose an ad to be featured by WMATA again until the 2017 Christmas ad.

According to official State data, only 13% of the DC's population is Catholic, though the Church's data pins the number of worshipers closer to 22%.

Kim Fiorentino, the General Counsel, and who is also Chancellor of Archdiocese of Washington, said that this rejection of the advertisement is a violation of free speech. The Archdiocese also argues the policy is inconsistent, because WMATA accepted ads for the Salvation Army and Yoga.

The Archdiocese is now suing Metro over the banning.

"To borrow from a favorite Christmas story, under WMATA's guidelines, if the ads are about packages, boxes or bags ... if Christmas comes from a store ... then it seems WMATA approves", Ed McFadden, communications secretary for the archdiocese, said. Unsurprisingly, the archdiocese explained that it "could not conceive of a way to adjust the advertisement given the goal and message of the campaign".

Mcfadden explained that giving the ad a commercial theme and still retaining the intended message would be impossible.

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