Ad company denies accusations they refused to sell ads in Golden

A not-for-profit is claiming that Pattison Outdoor is refusing to sell them billboard space outside of Golden.

A provincial not-for-profit society that is advocating for a referendum on marijuana regulations is claiming that they have been refused advertising space in Golden.

Sensible BC is accusing national advertising company, Pattison Outdoor, of refusing to sell them billboard space.

“Pattison Outdoor has several poster spaces in Golden, which is an important region for us,” said Dana Larsen, director of Sensible BC. “It’s frustrating for our political campaign to be blocked by a big corporation that has a near-monopoly on outdoor advertising in our province.”

Larson is claiming that Pattison Outdoor has stopped answering their emails, and won’t take their calls.

According to Randy Otto, president of Pattison Outdoor, the allegations are just not true.

“There’s no reason for us to refuse it,” said Otto. The company asked Sensible BC to submit their ad copy to make sure it complied with Canadian regulations. After receiving it, there was an email sent from the regional representative for Pattison Outdoor to Sensible BC asking them where they would like to advertise.

According to Otto, that email (sent on June 11) was the last of their communication.

The Golden Star was contacted by Sensible BC on June 18 regarding the claims that advertising was being refused.

“We’ve been trying to buy ad space with Pattison Outdoor for many weeks now, and they just won’t sell us any ads,” said Larson.

The billboards, with a design that includes a marijuana leaf, is part of a larger campaign involving online and telephone outreach, trying to get signatures on their petition.

Sensible BC will have only 90 days to collect signatures, and are starting that clock in September. If they can collect signatures from 10 per cent of registered voters in every electoral district, then there will be a referendum on the Sensible Policing Act in September of 2014.

The act would decriminalize marijuana possession, treat possession of marijuana by minors in the same manner as alcohol, call upon the federal government to repeal marijuana prohibition, and set up a provincial commission to figure out the details around a regulated marijuana market in B.C.