The company "Alma" releases a statement regarding the banners containing hate speech.
According to the company statement, on Monday, October 3, Alma Ltd. addressed the Parliament of Georgia with a legislative initiative and requested amendments to the Organic Law of Georgia, the Election Code of Georgia and the Law of Georgia on Advertising, which should limit hate speech in the field of outdoor advertising.
"The appearance of hate speech banners on the outdoor advertising constructions owned by our company was followed by a fair and objective negative response from the public.
As we have said many times from the very first minutes, we completely and will always distance ourselves from any action or actions expressed in a way that will lead to hatred, aggression and the polarization of our society. However, as in this case, as in all other cases, the role of "Alma" is limited to the fact that the company receives advertising banners with specific content and visuals from customers and places them on the company's billboards.
Upon the expiration of the term stipulated in the contract of the above-mentioned advertising banners, on October 2, Alma Ltd. immediately provided the removal of the advertising visuals and in no case intends to extend the contractual relationship.
In addition, on Monday, October 3, Alma Ltd. addressed the Parliament of Georgia with a legislative initiative requesting amendments to the Organic Law of Georgia on the Election Code of Georgia and the Law of Georgia on Advertising, which should limit the placement of hate speech advertisements in the field of outdoor advertising and give the advertising service a right to legitimately refuse the advertiser to provide advertising services.
We hope that the legislature will support us, we think it is an absolutely fair and objective initiative and will implement the relevant legislative changes in the near future.
We would like to emphasize that although we understand and recognize the freedom of speech and expression of any entity and the need to ensure it, before making the above changes in the legislation, we have made a unilateral decision and Alma Ltd. will refuse any entity to accept the placement of advertising content containing hate speech, and aimed at polarizing the public.
We also understand that this decision by the company may give rise to a legally substantiated claim by the advertising customer or customers regarding Alma Ltd.'s refusal to provide the services, which may result in legal action being taken against the company.
However, our decision is final for any subject and we think that with this step we will make a small contribution to reducing polarization in society and establishing a standard of civil relations once and for all in the field of outdoor advertising", - "Alma" said in a statement.