Subject: Pope AIDS ads controversial

From: Scot Bear

Date: 12/13/95


December 7, 1995

POPE AIDS ADS CONTROVERSIAL NEW YORK -- A poster that uses Pope John Paul II to grab attention for a new AIDS fund-raising campaign is too controversial and won't be used,organizers said today.

"We won't be running it because people would focus on it as a personal attack, and deflect attention from AIDS," said Jay Blotcher, spokesman for the American Foundation for AIDS Research, or AmFAR.

Scheduled use of the ad in 17 U.S. cities has been canceled, Blotcher said, denying a published report that the poster would still appear in New York City.

Six other posters in the ad campaign feature the president and the speaker of the House in an effort to combat "the growing apathy and complacency" about AIDS, said AmFAR President Mervyn Silverman. The ads say the politicos "would need more than just your vote."

He said AmFAR is $3 million in debt and has had to cut back on some research grants. The group has been known for its celebrity links; Elizabeth Taylor has been a major supporter.

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