Spadina-Fort York City Councillor Joe Cressy announced on Twitter that the City of Toronto has confirmed that Vaccine Choice Canada's dozens of anti-vaccine billboards will be promptly taken down. This news follows the outpour of criticism by concerned Torontonians who condemned the anti-vaccine advocate group's "harmful" and "deceptive" promotional campaign.
The billboards - which suggested vaccines pose undue risk for children and that children do not require vaccinations to attend school - were at the centre of today's heated debate among city residents.
Carly Zipp, a spokesperson for Outfront Media - the agency responsible for the billboards' operation - confirmed in an email to The Globe and Mail that the billboards are now removed. However, she refused to answer any inquiries regarding the billboard or the decision to ultimately take them down. Vaccine Choice Canada has not yet responded to The Globe's request for comment.
The VP of Vaccine Choice Canada, Ted Kuntz commented via Facebook that Outfront Media notified him that the billboards would indeed be removed. He also confirmed that the billboards were up for the duration of one week and generated countless impressions.
BREAKING: Anti-vaccine billboards will be removed from Toronto and surrounding area, Outfront Media says. https://t.co/4k6lCs5pjS— Carly Weeks (@carlyweeks) February 27, 2019
“This campaign has been an absolute success and everyone should be proud of all we have accomplished!” Mr. Kuntz wrote on Facebook.
Good news. Have just confirmed that the harmful anti-vaccination billboards are being taken down. I want to commend the sign company for hearing the overwhelming public concern and acting swiftly to protect public health and our children. 1/2— Joe Cressy (@joe_cressy) February 27, 2019
Given the rise of unfounded & disproven anti-vaccination information & the dangerous public health consequences, this incident has demonstrated the need to approach anti-vaccination advertising just like we do with tobacco: to stop it in this city & across the country. 2/2— Joe Cressy (@joe_cressy) February 27, 2019