Clear Channel announces UKIP poster "will not be removed"
A campaigning success for UKIP activists who contacted Clear Channel following The Commentator's expose this weekend
In what is being hailed as an online campaigning victory, the advertising network Clear Channel has decided not to withdraw UKIP posters after a series of complaints by local trade-union members and left-wing activists.
The issue, first raised by The Commentator this weekend, was over a UKIP poster which called for an end to open ended EU immigration. Twitter users, residents of Levenshulme, took to making phone calls and sending e-mails, eventually boasting on Friday night that they, "Just got an ad company to take down a UKIP poster where we live. After mass emails and calls from community".
Following enquiries led by The Commentator, it was ascertained that Clear Channel had not yet taken a decision and that one was due today. The company announced the following after The Commentator exposed that the 'campaign' by local residents included partisan figures such as Dr. Sue McPherson, a local trade-union activist with a history of political campaigns in Britain's far-Left movement.
The Clear Channel statement:
On Friday 29th March, Clear Channel received complaints regarding a UKIP poster in Levenshulme, Manchester. The poster is part of a nationwide campaign by UKIP, using several media owners.
We have received comments from the public calling for both the removal of the poster, and for it to remain. Third-party comments on social media that a decision had been taken to remove the poster in Levenshulme are not correct: no such decision has been taken.
When evaluating complaints, Clear Channel considers the rights and responsibilities of advertisers, particularly as embodied by complying with ASA requirements; the wishes of members of the local community; and the views of our staff.
We understand that the issue of immigration is an emotive one, and also recognise that it is a legitimate topic for public debate. In this instance, we believe that the poster is ASA compliant, and have decided that it will not be removed.
A spokesperson for UKIP told The Commentator, "We are very pleased that Clear Channel has defended free speech and the ability of political parties to get their message out. But still, it causes worry that they even felt the need to query this. Those who would closed down free speech merely show us how scared they are of the hopes and wishes of the British public."
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Read more on: sue mcpherson, ukip, levenshulme, poster, and free speech
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