Tuesday, March 21, 2006

And they tell two friends...and they tell two friends...

I don't mean to harp on this commercial thing, so hopefully this will be my last post on the subject for a little while.

UCCNews has responded to UCCTruths' article about the commercial, which borrows heavily from my post below:

A website known for its negative critiques of the UCC’s National and Conference settings has published a description of the UCC’s newest national TV ad, a full week before church leaders were planning to release the new ad publicly at a press conference scheduled for March 27 in Cleveland.

On March 20, , which said it possessed a copy of the UCC’s new ad, posted a description of the commercial, along with critical comments and an unflattering still-image "video grab" which gives a false impression of the tone of the UCC’s newest commercial – known as “ejector seat” – especially its treatment of persons with disabilities.


In an email to at 7 p.m. (ET) on March 20, Stillspeaking Coordinator Ron Buford appealed to the site to not publish the ad until the scheduled March 27 release date.

“We have only given the ad to people who have promised to keep it within the UCC until the press conference,” Buford wrote. “Whoever released this to you has borne false witness, either directly or by omission. I do not believe you want to proceed with material you have received in this way.”

On Tuesday morning, responded to Buford, saying that it had no plans to run the ad in its entirety at this time.

In December, United Church News consented to a request by Buford and others to embargo all descriptions of the ad until the March 27 public release. However, along with , United Church News has subsequently learned that at least one major news source – Sojourners Magazine – was provided an accurate description of the ad, which it discussed in its Jan.-Feb. issue, along with quotes attributed to Buford.

UCCTruths gets the blame for something that was posted here before that, which was posted on the UCC forums before that, which was posted on sojo.net before that. There's something wrong with this picture.

The leak was not their fault. I take responsibility for my critique (why wouldn't I...it's mine) which was included on the site, but the description of the ad comes from Sojourners and, consequently, Ron Buford himself (or someone who 'attributes' quotes to Buford).

I'm still wondering how this commercial's target audience--those who have had it with institutionalized church due to discrimination and rejection--would find this ad 'whimsical.' Can one really picture a black person, for instance, watching this ad, seeing his or her black archetype flying through the air, and saying, 'Haha, that's me.' It seems more like an inside joke than a form of outreach.

Who cares if the content has been leaked at this point? There are more important ad-related issues to deal with than that.