Saturday, January 22, 2005

Rolling Stone Refuses Bible Ad

Disappointing, but not surprising.


Anonymous said...

For one, it doesn't belong in RS and two no one wants to be preached, period.

Robb said...

Did you even read the article? First, this ad belongs as much as any other does. Second, it is far from preachy.

Quotation from article:

The rejected ad shows a contemplative 20-something guy and includes the title, "Today it makes sense more than ever." The text at the bottom of the ad says, ". . . [Y]ou wonder where you can find real truth. Well, now there's a source . . . It's the TNIV . . . It's written in today's language, for today's times—and it makes more sense than ever." The Bible's cover is shown in the lower left corner.

There's no use of the word "God" or "Christ." But apparently Rolling Stone objected to the word "truth" in the ad's text. "It doesn't quite feel right in the magazine," Kent Brownridge, general manager of Wenner Media, parent company of RS, told USA Today. "We are not in the business of publishing advertising for religious messages."


Thumbing through the January 27 issue, which features a scantily clad Gwen Stefani on the cover (and whom RS calls a "Rock Goddess"), there are many religious-sounding ads:

the HBO series Carnivale, which bills itself as "the final battle between Good and Evil," pitting a fugitive with "hidden talents" facing off against a "shadowy evangelist" named "Brother Justin." A recent episode features a statue of the baby Jesus talking to someone, while elsewhere, Brother Justin "breaks ground on his new temple and dedicates it to the child martyrs of the Dignity Ministry." Ican only assume that no "religious message" is being promoted here, or else RS wouldn't accept the ad.

Friends of the Earth warns about global warming and boasts, "We have the know-how to change the course of humanity." The Bible also claims that know-how; so why is one ad allowed, and the other rejected?

An ad for MasterCard proclaims: "There are some things money can't buy. For everything else there's MasterCard." Really? We know of some shops that won't take credit cards, in essence proving this ad a lie. So, RS will accepts ads with an apparent lie, but rejects those that talk of "truth."

Other ads make claims far more unverifiable than the TNIV's. An ad for a "personal lubricant" promises "a night to remember" and that "sex will never be the same." That's quite a promise. The Nissan Frontier's ad, meanwhile, claims that its special features yield "the biggest sweet spot of all." That sounds like a declaration of exclusivity; how can Nissan claim to have the real truth on sweet spots?

On its website, Rolling Stone lists its regular advertising clientele, including car companies, movie studios, alcohol products and much more. One of its advertisers is Novartis, a pharmaceutical and consumer health company that, among other things, seeks "to ease suffering, and to enhance the quality of life," and "to be recognized for having a positive impact on people's lives."

I bet Zondervan feels the same way.