It was recently revealed that the AVN was allegedly knocked back from putting paid advertising into a publication for mums and babies.

The Child group of magazines, covering Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and Perth are free monthly publications distributed via childcare centres and baby shops and are highly targeted to Australian parents.

The website of Sydney’s Child describes the publication as, “..well established in the marketplace and highly respected by readers.”

“With six publications reaching across Australia, the Child group of magazines offer advertisers the ability to advertise nationally, or selectively depending on their needs. The tailored content within each magazine ensures that the publications always remain locally relevant to readers.”

All of which combines to make this the perfect platform for the AVN to scare parents into not vaccinating with their misinformation about vaccines causing autism, SIDS, shaken baby syndrome etc.

I understand that the AVN applied to purchase a 1/3 page ad in Sydney’s Child, Melbourne’s Child and Brisbane’s Child at a total estimated cost of $8000.

But in a highly principled and responsible move, it appears that the magazine declined the AVN the opportunity to do so, thus forfeiting a large amount of advertising money. This is a honorable move on their part, especially since being a free publication, they rely heavily on advertising revenue.

At question here is how the AVN came to have a spare $8000, after their recent donation drive initiated apparently to keep them from going under. Meryl apparently needed the cash to cover debts, so just a few weeks later she has enough in the coffers to blow eight grand on advertising?

I also wonder if her donors would be happy to see their money being diverted from keeping the AVN running to this new venture. That is, if indeed it is their money.

In August 2009, she was asking for donations to run a Generation Rescue ad, for which they would cover half the costs. An ad which never ran mind you, because we pipped her at the post. So it is possible that they have come to the party here.

In any case, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Meryl was told that The Child group did not want her anti-vaccine money. If she was not already convinced there is a conspiracy to see her silenced, then she ought to be well and truly by now. Paranoid much? Well maybe you should be Meryl!

I would like to clarify that neither Australian Skeptics, Stop the AVN or myself had anything to do with this decision. I’m sure Meryl will blame us, and I certainly wish I had the influence to persuade publishers and journalists to never publish her nonsense again, but I don’t.

(Or do I? *look over there, it’s a reptilian overlord*)

Congratulations to The Child group for adhering to their editorial policy and extending this to advertising:

Editorial Integrity – Our editorial integrity ensures that advertisements are always viewed within the context of a highly regarded, quality publication. That our magazines are seen in such a favourable light contributes positively to how an advertiser’s message is received by our readers.

The Child Group had done a great service to public health by limiting the exposure of the AVN’s misinformation. And by doing so, they may have saved a baby’s life.

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