South to wait for contentious advertising

Controversial ads promoting atheism will be appearing on billboards in Auckland, Wellington Christchurch in the coming weeks, but the South will have to wait a little longer.

The ads - which read "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" - created a storm when they ran on buses in the United Kingdom last year.

Atheist Bus Campaign spokesman Simon Fisher said the billboard campaign would begin in the three main centres in the next three weeks, before moving to Dunedin and possibly Queenstown in the coming months.

The group's online "billboard generator" - which asked people to come up with slogans on the campaign's official website - had attracted plenty of interest from people in Otago.

Of the hundreds of suggestions, about three would be selected for the campaign, he said.

"The message won't be directly controversial, given the sensitivity over the subject," Mr Fisher said.

Last year, the campaign raised more than $22,000 to fund the ads, but NZ Bus declined to run them after receiving complaints from the public and staff.

The group is now pursuing a discrimination case against the company.

- By NZPA & Hamish McNeilly


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