Lamar's Religious Management Would Rather Lose Money Than Sell Billboards to Atheists

Last Updated Jul 10, 2009 1:40 PM EDT

Give Lamar Advertising kudos for being even-handed even if it's no good at winning new business: The company censors liberal billboards just as much as it censors conservative ones. Lamar declined to sell space to an atheist who wanted to put up an ad alongside Alabama's I-20 that said simply, "Imagine No Religion," according to The Birmingham News:
"It was offensive to me," said Tom Traylor, general manager of Lamar Advertising in Birmingham.
Let's put aside the fact that Lamar -- a publicly traded company -- is desperate for all the revenue it can get right now; its sales are down 13 percent this year and it has laid off 400 staff. (Let's also put aside the fact that Mr. Traylor's God is apparently so flimsy that He can be successfully challenged by a billboard.)

The fact is that Lamar rejects advocate business from both sides of the aisle. BNET readers know that Lamar took down billboards of a group criticizing America's funding of Israel and refused to sell space to a group that believes President Obama was not born in America. It also went along meekly with a Canadian city that forbids religious advetrising on buses.

Given the dire situation Lamar's finances are in, perhaps this company might want to grow a pair and allow people to pay them money to advertise the occasional message with which Lamar's shaky-faithed general managers disagree.