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Rejected Greenpeace solar billboard finds bright home in south Edmonton

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EDMONTON - Greenpeace says its ad touting solar energy over oil spills has found a home on a solar-powered electronic billboard in south Edmonton.

Earlier this month, Greenpeace said it had a deal with billboard company Pattison Outdoor to display its sign in downtown Edmonton, but was turned down at the last minute without any explanation.

The ad featured an orange background with the text: "When there is a huge solar energy spill, it's just called a nice day. Green jobs, not more oil spills."

Pattison would not comment on why it backed away. Greenpeace suggested it was so as not to offend oil industry advertisers.

The energy industry's clout when it comes to issues such as this has been a hot topic lately.

This week, a cartoonist at the Vancouver Province said he had a spoof video satirizing an ad by Enbridge removed from the newspaper's website because the pipeline company threatened to pull advertising dollars from the paper. The paper's editor, however, said it was a copyright issue that led to the ad being pulled and Enbridge had nothing to do with it.

Greenpeace says that after it went public with the billboard rejection, the organization was approached by Global Resource Efficiency Services, part owners of a solar-powered LED board on Edmonton's south side.

Spokesman Mike Hudema says in many ways the solar-powered board is more fitting for an ad promoting energy from the sun. And the ad costs about $400 less than the $2,800 Pattison was charging and will run for two month, twice as long.

"It's of course definitely not the option that we wanted because we wanted something right by the Alberta legislature," Hudema said.

"But this is definitely, I would say, the next best thing."

The new ad will be tweaked because it is rotating.

The first panel reads: "A solar spill is called a nice day. Premier Redford:

"Green jobs, not oil spills," reads the second one.

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