Major fail on the part of CBS with regard to accepting faith based advertising.
You might recall back 2006, the United Church of Christ wanted to run a series of ads reaching out to the “unchurched” with a bit of pizzaz. CBS rejected the advertising, deeming them “too controversial” for network television. Here is one of the ads:
Fast forward (recurring meme this week, eh?) to the 2010 Superbowl set to air on CBS. Focus on the Family is set to spend $2.8 million on this ad. Video not available, but here's a description:
The 30-second spot from the international family-help organization will feature college football star Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam. They will share a personal story centered on the theme of “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.”
Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family, said the chance to partner with the Tebows and lift up a meaningful message about family and life comes at the right moment in the culture, because “families need to be inspired.”
“Tim and Pam share our respect for life and our passion for helping families thrive,” Daly said. “They live what we see every day – that the desire for family closeness is written on the hearts of every generation. Focus on the Family is about nurturing that desire and strengthening families by empowering them with the tools they need to live lives rooted in morals and values.”
Change.org weighs in.
Five years ago, television network CBS rejected as too controversial an advertisement from the United Church of Christ (UCC) that suggested churches should be places free from discrimination, including discrimination based on age, gender, race, and sexual orientation. At the time, CBS told the UCC that the network had “a longstanding policy of not accepting advocacy advertising.”
Fast forward five years, and now CBS is prepared to run an advertisement during the Super Bowl — the largest watched television program in the entire country — from vehemently anti-LGBT organization Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family has a long history of spouting anti-LGBT beliefs, from calling gay marriage perverted, to saying that homosexuals were a threat to civilization, to telling girls that sex education strips them of their modesty. On top of that, the advertisement that Focus on the Family plans to run during the Super Bowl will take an anti-choice viewpoint.
A history of anti-LGBT actions, coupled with tackling an issue like abortion — and CBS doesn't think that counts as controversial?
So what to do? One thing you can do to weigh in locally is call the local CBS affiliate … yes, that would be KDKA and let them know if you think CBS should be carrying such a controversial ad, especially given their history with UCC. The number for KDKA is +14125752288. You can weigh in via email here.
Weigh in with CBS here.
You can also join a national petitions at Change.Org here.
The Facebook page is here.
One point to keep in mind is there is no move from the UCC to run their ads (4 years later). It is simply a point of reference to hold CBS accountable for consistent decisions with regard to advertising decisions, especially those that promote a social issue agenda. So the message is clear — don't run the Focus on the Family ad.