Turning down precious advertising dollars is not something any business wants to do, but that’s exactly what Destination DC has done in recent weeks — twice.
The non-profit tourism group has taken on the mighty NRA and rejected running an ad for the gun lobby’s National Museum of Firearms, saying it did not want to display images of weapons.
In addition, Destination DC also rejected an ad for the local Museum of Civil War Medicine, citing its objection to the confederate flag pictured in the promo.
“We are constantly evaluating how best to promote Washington, DC for visitors and have decided not to include images that can be considered controversial, which includes the confederate flag and weapons,” Destination DC’s President Elliott Ferguson said in a statement.
The ad was to appear in the Destination DC visitors guide, which comes out twice per year, and is distributed to tourists through visitors centers and by Destination DC members, and is part of the literature package that goes out to anyone asking for more information on the city.
The organization’s heightened sensitivity about ads it runs started in response to the Orlando nightclub massacre in June. The group decided to pay closer attention to potentially offensive material.
But the National Firearms Museum questioned how it could promote itself without showing any guns. “It’s not possible for us to advertise the National Firearms Museum without showcasing the relics in the museum,” NRA spokesperson Jason Brown told the Washingtonian. “It’s an absurd thought.”