‘Racist’ Ad Rejected in North Carolina

DALLAS Lamar Advertising, one of the nation’s largest outdoor advertising companies, has refused an ad sponsored by the New York-based Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License that shows an Arab holding a hand grenade and a driver’s license.

Saying that the advertiser was playing on racial fears to get its message across, the Baton Rouge, La., operator of more than 150,000 billboards rejected the ad planned for display in North Carolina and New Mexico.

The coalition wants North Carolina and other states to prevent driver’s license applicants from using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number as an ID for a license and require proof that they are in the country legally. Several of the terrorists in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center had multiple driver’s licenses.

The Washington-based Arab American Institute and other groups protested the billboard. The AAI contacted Lamar Advertising shortly after hearing about the campaign.

Like other billboard operators, Lamar has refused to run other ads, including a Georgia Equality campaign titled “We Are Your Neighbor” last summer. The advertiser was able to run the ads on billboards operated by Magic Media.