ASHA and NCS protest poster

The January 1980 ASHA magazine (p. 48) reported on the cooperative efforts and protests of ASHA and the National Council of Stutterers to have a poster recalled and removed from the market. The poster was one of a series of 12 about venereal disease and pornography. The business which marketed the poster sold posters and other health supply material to be used in schools and offices.

One of the posters showed a young man and woman in silhouette, sitting on a park bench. The poster said, "Talking About V.D. Can be the First Step Toward Preventing It . . . Unless You Stutter."

In January 1979, Russell Malone, then the Public Information Director for ASHA wrote in his first letter, "I am concerned about the poster in which venereal disease is associated with stuttering. While I must commend the people who developed some excellent, very clever, and visually attractive posters, the one involving stuttering is in poor taste and offensive to a great number of people. I urge that you withdraw this poster from circulation." Between January and October, 1979, the distributor was contacted three more times officially by ASHA as well as receiving numerous letters of protest from the National Council of Stutterers and individuals. The distributor ignored all requests to remove/recall the poster and the story, along with the offensive poster was published in the ASHA magazine.

The poster was discontinued in the middle of 1980 and has not been produced since. This is an early example of a cooperative effort between the professional and consumer community.

added December 4, 1999