Targeted abuse prompts CIE to ban 8th Amendment ads
The toxic divisions over repeal of Ireland's abortion laws have led the State's transport company CIE to ban both sides of the 8th Amendment debate from 7,000 advertising sites nationwide.
Advertising on Irish Rail, Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann, as well as CIE controlled outdoor billboards, is a major revenue earner but CIE said it had taken the decision because its advertising contractor and its own bus and rail staff have been faced with aggression and abuse.
The abuse followed the placement of two campaign adverts, one from each side of the abortion debate.
The first was a six-week campaign on Bus Eireann single-decker buses by the Fathers4Justice campaign (F4J) which called for a change of the 8th Amendment of the Constitution giving adequate protection to the rights of the father under the tagline 'A father is for life not just conception'.
The other advertisement was a simple billboard notification for the March for Choice in Dublin on September 30.
In a statement to the Sunday Independent, CIE said: "Following each instance, some employees of CIE, its operating companies, and advertising contractor Exterion have been subject to aggressive, critical, and abusive communications, from the opposing side of the campaign in each instance.
"Therefore, to protect the interests of employees, we have reluctantly decided to give this instruction to Exterion not to accept any further advertising campaigns expressing an opinion on any issues relating to the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution for display on CIE-owned advertising sites."
As well as internal and external advertising on buses, coaches and trains, CIE also controls scrolling signs at rail and bus stations nationwide, advertising on 20 railway bridges and a host of digital and backlit outdoor and indoor advertising screens and billboards in a portfolio of 7,000 separate sites.