Brisbane airport bans corruption ad ahead of G20

AP News
Posted: Nov 03, 2014 11:24 PM
Brisbane airport bans corruption ad ahead of G20

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A day after saying a billboard advertisement highlighting climate change was too political for world leaders gathering in the Australian city of Brisbane for a major economic summit, local airport authorities said Tuesday that they had also rejected an ad highlighting corruption problems.

Brisbane Airport Corp. confirmed Monday that a World Wildlife Fund ad asking leaders of wealthy and developing countries to put climate change on the agenda of their G20 summit next week had been banned because it had "political intent."

Airport management revealed Tuesday that an ad proposed by global anti-corruption group Transparency International had also been banned on the same basis, even though fighting corruption features prominently on the G20 agenda.

"Sometimes what is or isn't political is a judgment call," airport spokeswoman Leonie Vandeven said in a statement.

The two ads were the only G-20-related advertising to be banned at the airport, she said.

Transparency International had wanted an ad saying "Dirty Money Not Welcome Here" on a roadside billboard on the airport exit road.

Transparency International spokeswoman Maggie Murphy said the censorship was disappointing after her organization had been effectively engaged with G20 governments and businesses for the past year on reducing corruption.

She said she had not been given an explanation for why the message was deemed to be too political.

WWF on Monday launched a billboard ad on a Brisbane street close to the G20 venue after the airport rejected a similar digital billboard ad in its international arrivals hall.

The outdoor ad features Australian firefighter Dean McNulty with the caption: "Action on climate change is #onmyagenda. Please put it on yours."

Australia is chairing the G20 summit and has resisted pressure from countries, including the United States, to include climate change on the economic forum's agenda.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott's 14-month-old government has been widely criticized for repealing a carbon tax which had been paid by 350 of Australia's worst greenhouse gas polluters.