An advertisement right in President Barack Obama’s neighborhood is causing a major stir on the national scene. The ad is featured in a Washington, D.C. metro station. It is a very simple, all-text ad, that ends by telling the sitting President of the United States to “Go to Hell.” The ad is for a documentary called “Sick and Sicker: When the Government Becomes Your Doctor.” This film interviews doctors from Canada, which has national healthcare already, in an attempt to discredit the positives of Obama’s controversial healthcare plan, often dubbed “Obamacare.” Here is the text of the ad:
“Barack Obama wants politicians and bureaucrats to control America’s entire medical system. Go to hell Barack.”
Simple and to-the-point, eh? Many believe despite freedom of speech, the ad is inappropriate because it is directly disrespectful to the President. For what’s it worth, legal analysts verified that the language in the advertisement is absolutely legal and indeed protected by the First Amendment. So far, the Metro Authority in the District of Columbia has said that they are not responsible for what advertisements say as long as they are not profane or in violation of law. Furthermore, they are not allowed to discriminate which ads to accept based on things like political or religious content. So, for now, the ad stays safe.
The real positive for the documentary-makers is that the ad has now been much more effective than it would have been without the controversy. While the D.C. metro station puts the ad in front of thousands, the controversy has caused it to be advertised nationally, all for the single rate of posting it in the subway corridor. Appropriate or inappropriate, it’s hard to argue with the strategy. Ironically, the people that are calling for the ad to be removed are the very ones causing it to reach millions more people. So, what do you think?