A bold new backlash against discrimination means radio adverts for church services could become part of daily life.
In a swift response to Ann Widdecombe’s call last week for Christians to “fight back” against prejudice – uncovered in a BBC survey – national charity the Churches’ Advertising Network has launched a counter-attack.
It takes the form of a slickly-produced, 10-minute audio CD called ‘Fighting Back’ which shamelessly encourages Britain’s congregations to buy airtime on local commercial radio stations, and even produces the adverts to help them do it.
“If Christians face discrimination in the media, that may be because they have failed to make use of it,” says CAN chairman Francis Goodwin. “Too many churches have stayed quiet about their message for too long. Others have tried and failed because they don’t have the skills to put good advertisements together. Our website offers professionally produced, enjoyable, thought-provoking ads which churches can download and use on their local stations – not to force the message upon people, but simply to let it be better known.”
The CD – free to any church wanting to know more – plays examples of generic Christmas ads used in previous years and explains how much they could cost and how churches can set about buying airtime.
Past poster campaigns from CAN have become huge talking-points over Easter and Christmas, including the “Che Guavara” image of Jesus with the slogan “Meek. Mild. As If” and the latest eye-catching campaign with the face of Jesus in beer glass and a page on the internet blogging site Myspace.
“Of course some churches may not like the idea of advertising,” says CAN chairman Francis Goodwin, “but last week’s survey proves that discrimination against Christians is a fact. You could say it’s ‘religionist’! Radio advertising is one of the best ways to get a message across – and we simply want to make use of it to right this wrong.”
· For more information contact Rachel Farmer phone: 01636 817218 or 07712196381 or Francis Goodwin phone: 07733001781
· CAN, the Churches Advertising Network, is an independent ecumenical group of Christian communicators providing high quality Christian advertising campaigns linked to major festivals. Chairman, Francis Goodwin
· Last year’s Christmas radio campaign which included a webpage for Jesus on the personal blogging site myspace attracted more than 60,000 visitors in the first three months. The news that Jesus has his own myspace was greeted with great interest across the globe and myspace pages continue to be active with Jesus acquiring an average of 12 new friends per day.
· Some 62,313 unique views were recorded on isthisjesus between September and January, with 2,235 friends of isthisjesus signed up.