A video ad promoting the legalization of marijuana was pulled from a screen outside a NASCAR event at the Indiana Motor Speedway Friday, several hours after it began running, USA Today reports.
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the advocacy group that purchased the ad, said it was the first time such an ad appeared so close to the entrance of a major sporting event. The video, which is made to look like a beer ad, tells viewers marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. A narrator says marijuana has no calories, no hangovers, and is not linked to violence or reckless behavior.
The ad was scheduled to run 72 times over a three-day period. NASCAR is not affiliated with the advertiser, or with the company that sells the ad space.
USA Today reported few fans attending the event seemed to notice the ad. The video board was propped up on a trailer outside the event.
The video was removed after the company that allowed MPP to purchase air time, Grazie Media, learned about the contents of the ad, according to The Huffington Post. “We decided to pull ultimately because it’s not obviously a great fit for the NASCAR audience, for the family kind of oriented audience, that’s why we decided to pull the ad,” said company CEO Vanessa Wojtala.
In a statement, Mason Tvert, Director of Communications for MPP, said, “We find it odd that this company is willing to run ads at an alcohol-fueled event, yet unwilling to run an ad that simply highlights the ways in which marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. This is the exact type of hypocrisy that motivated us to run this ad. We wanted to make people think about the absurdity of laws that allow adults to use alcohol but punish them for making the safer choice to use marijuana instead, if that is what they prefer.”