Amnesty International calls out DC Metro's decision to ban ads highlighting 'hateful rhetoric' from world leaders

By Gillian West | Social media manager

February 25, 2018 | 3 min read

Amnesty International has hit back at DC Metro’s decision to turn down its ad campaign highlighting “hateful rhetoric” from world leaders including Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un.

Amnesty International 'A storm is brewing'

DC Metro has rejected Amnesty International's latest campaign

The human rights group had planned to run the ads inside the Metro in advance of its annual general meeting which is taking place in the city this weekend.

The ‘a storm is brewing’ ad series features Trump, Putin and Kim and calls for people to “join the movement” however, Metro rejected the ads on the grounds they violated its policy against issue-oriented advertising.

In rejecting the ads, Metro cited two provisions of the policy, “advertisements intended to influence members of the public regarding an issue on which there are varying opinions are prohibited” and “advertisements that are intended to influence public policy are prohibited”.

Issuing a statement, Margaret Huang, Amnesty International USA’s executive director, said: “It’s deeply unfortunate that advocacy ads are so notoriously hard to place in our nation’s capital - exactly the market where they’re needed the most.”

Huang argued that the ads do not take a political stance, despite featuring prominent political figures.

“Governments and heads of state are accountable to international human rights laws. We don’t pick and chaise which governments to criticise, we criticise every government that violates human rights,” she said.

“The message of our ads was a simple one asking people to join us in upholding human rights, which is not and should not be a political or partisan issue. We’re very disappointed with [the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s] decision, but we will continue to find a way to get our message out to defend human rights both here at home and around the world.”

In 2016, Amnesty International took part in The Drum’s Do It Day creating an ad campaign to help change the perception of the refugee crisis with the help of industry professionals.


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