United States: I'm a wee bit confused over church advertising. Wouldn't using television advertising to pimp for customers be in violation of their dodgy tax-free status? Not to mention a blatant misuse of funds.
Two weeks ago, first-time commercials for the United Church of Christ (UCC) began airing in six areas from Sarasota, Fla., to Oklahoma City in a bid to boost name recognition and worship attendance before Easter. Monday, the Unitarian Universalist Association began a national campaign to buy airtime for theirUncommon Denominationads, first tested in Kansas City last year. This summer, the United Methodist Church will hear proposals for expanding what has been a four-year, $18 million campaign to replenish dwindling congregations.
For church marketers, TV ads have been the missing link between congregations with much to offer and individuals in search of a place where they feel welcome.
It may well be that the church we created in 1957 is just right for today's people, but they don't know we exist,said Ron Buford, coordinator of the UCC's campaign.The medium for today is TV. You don't exist if you're not on TV.
Yet for scholars of church trends, the dawn of mass marketing suggests that quest for church unity has given way to an ethic of survival of the fittest.
Mainstream churches take a leap of faith into TV advertising - Christian Science Monitor, 16th March 2004.