The proposed billboard for downtown Edmonton featured the text: "When there is a huge solar energy spill it's just called a nice day. Green jobs, not more oil spills." The words were set against an orange background with no photos or artwork:
"It was a fairly light-hearted ad in my opinion," said Greenpeace spokesman Mike Hudema. "To me it was a fairly gentle message, but for some reason beyond my comprehension, it's a message that Pattison has rejected."
Though it was not mentioned specifically, Hudema said the billboard ad was timed to be put up after a high-profile oil spill that fouled the shoreline of the Red Deer River earlier this month near Sundre, Alta.
Greenpeace said it was told by Pattison Outdoor on June 13 that it could have a billboard at Jasper Avenue and 106th Street, not far from the Alberta legislature. The cost was $2,800 and the ad was to run for one month.
Two days later, however, Greenpeace was told the artwork had not been approved. Followup with the company didn't yield any further explanation.
Pattison vice-president Joe Donaldson refused to comment when contacted by The Canadian Press on Tuesday.
"Pattison's official statement is no comment," Donaldson said. "No comment, period."
Hudema said he is not aware of any policies Pattison has that prevent political or advocacy messaging on its board.
He said Greenpeace ran a billboard with the company in 2009 about the cod industry.
He believes the company was afraid of offending oil industry advertisers by running a Greenpeace ad.
"When you start to question the oil industry in any way or promote an alternative industry, that is a message that Pattison, for some reason, do not want people to see," he said.
"Apparently it was too controversial for them."
Also on HuffPost