Oneonta Billboard Controversy Raises Question of Public Safety Vs. Freedom of Speech
Oneonta Alderman, former long-time firefighter, and upcoming Republican Oneonta mayoral candidate Len Carson who owns DC Marketing, a company with the only digital and vinyl billboards in Oneonta, was criticized at Tuesday's Oneonta Common Council meeting for ads he approved and allowed to be displayed on a billboard regarding the COVID-19 vaccine (see below) according to AllOTSEGO.
The ads were criticized for presenting false information about COVID-19 vaccines. It should be noted that the ads have run their full schedule. It's not known what that time frame was. According to the DC Marketing website, the potential of reach for clients running billboard ads is "116,500 potential customers daily and over 3.4 Million customers monthly". With that said, it's hard to know how many people saw the vaccine messaging before it ended its run.
At the meeting, one woman spoke out against the advertising on Carson's sign. Jennifer Hill condemned Carson for putting up the anti-vaccination advertising saying, “It’s unconscionable that a member of the council and one who wants to lead the city to spread false information."
There were also letters read at the meeting that strongly criticized Carson's allowance of the billboard messages with concerns over Carson spreading disinformation and discouraging people from getting vaccinated against the virus.
Carson did not respond to any of the criticisms during the council meeting but he did reveal to an AllOTSEGO reporter following the meeting that the ads did not reflect his views on the subject of COVID-19 vaccines and after researching information in the ads, Carson said that he “didn’t find fault with the information.” He went on to say, There have been ads that I have not agreed with personally, but have allowed on the digital billboard platform because it matches in line with freedom of speech."
For more on this story provided by our publishing partner AllOTSEGO, visit allotsego.com.