Protesting Offensive Commercials Encouraged

CHICAGO, IL (February 13, 2012) – Organizers of the #NotBuyingIt Twitter campaign against what they say are demeaning commercials announced that one million people were reached during the Super Bowl.

Evangelical Covenant Church ministers – who were not connected with the campaign – say they hope congregations will consider their own responses to the advertising that occurs during the Super Bowl and throughout society that objectifies other people.

Missrepresenation.org, founded by the producers of the Sundance Festival entry Miss Representation, especially focused on the GoDaddy website hosting company, although they asked that people write to each of the corporations whose advertising the viewer found offensive.

Eugene Cho, pastor of Quest Church in Seattle, Washington, expressed his dismay in a post on his widely read blog. “Because my wife and I were watching the game with our three young children, we had to switch channels constantly,” he wrote.

Cho exhorted churches whose websites are hosted by GoDaddy to switch companies. “Can you imagine the impact that we could make together by saying and demonstrating: ‘Enough is enough? We must fight and turn the tables for the dignity and value of women – because it affects all of us.”

Meagan Gillian, executive minister of the Department of Women Ministries, adds, “How tragically ironic that parents must monitor the content and become expert channel flippers as they watch the Super Bowl with their children. When I see these ads, I am saddened by reduction of both women and men to objects to be admired for their unattainable physical attractiveness and seductiveness. God would have our relationships be so much more fulfilling.”

Ginny Olson, director of youth ministry for the Northwest Conference, noted, “Consumers forget that we have a voice in this transaction. When we become offended, even outraged, at the way the ‘buy me’ message is delivered, we have every right to not only refuse to buy the product or service, but to organize others to refuse to buy as well.”

Olson is the author of Teenage Girls: Exploring Issues Adolescent Girls Face and Strategies to Help Them, as well as a nationally recognized expert on youth ministry. She says people offended by the commercials should be more proactive in addressing the issues of objectification.

Even if corporations don’t pay attention to moral issues, they will respond if their bottom lines are threatened. “We watch them during the game and then respond with blogs and social media buzz,” she says. “Enough companies now release their Super Bowl ads ahead of time to gauge consumers’ reactions. If we’re concerned about the commercials, we need to organize ahead of time and let the offending companies know that we will not be purchasing their products and will encourage others to do the same.”

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