Birmingham, UK: ‘Free Ads’ campaign ends with 3 arrests
Updated January 15, 2020 06:08:18In a surprise move, Birmingham City Council announced on Tuesday that it would stop paying free advertising by the controversial Cannabis Advertising Bureau, as part of a new campaign to promote the drug and its medicinal uses.
The council said it would no longer pay for any advertisements by the Cannabis Advertising bureau, which is set up by Birmingham’s Police and Crime Commissioner, and its sister organisation, the Council for Psychoactive Substances Regulation.
“This decision has been made as part an overall review of how we engage with our communities and how we operate in a way that is in the best interests of Birmingham,” Birmingham Council said in a statement.
It comes after a controversial campaign by the bureau, launched in January, that encouraged people to sign up to “free local ads” that would show up on their local news websites.
Cannabis Advertising Bureau (CAB) CEO Dr Richard Stoddart said he had hoped to convince residents to use the free advertising campaign to get around a crackdown by police and prosecutors.
“We’re not trying to turn people away, we’re trying to get them to use our services,” he told the Birmingham Mail.
People will be surprised by what we are trying to achieve.””
That’s why we have so many free local ads on our site.”
People will be surprised by what we are trying to achieve.
“But Birmingham Council insisted it had never paid for any local ads by the CAB, and would not do so again.”
Birmingham has been a pioneer in the cannabis industry and our community will not be allowed to take this for granted,” the council said.
It said it had also begun a consultation with residents to find a way to remove the free local advertising.”
That will take time,” Mr Stoddard said.”
I think there’s a lot of community anger out there and we want to work with them and try to bring about some compromise.
“Dr Stoddarts previous role as chief medical officer for the Victorian Government ended in June 2020 after he was found to have breached ministerial regulations.
Dr Stddarts appointment as chief executive of the Birmingham CBD Council has not been renewed and he is not yet eligible to continue as an MP.
The council’s decision to stop paying for local ads was welcomed by anti-legalisation campaigner, Peter Gannon, who said the council’s stance was a “big step forward”.”
We hope it shows that people are aware of the fact that the CBD is being targeted by police forces in the same way that we are by the cannabis companies,” he said.
I’m really pleased with the councils response,” Mr Gannon said.