Churches unite for marketing drive

The Church of England’s ’bad hair day’ ad campaign last Christmas has persuaded Britain’s Catholic and Protestant churches to unite in presenting an ’alternative millennium’ message.

The Church of England’s ’bad hair day’ ad campaign last Christmas

has persuaded Britain’s Catholic and Protestant churches to unite in

presenting an ’alternative millennium’ message.



At the same time, Bethlehem 2000, a major international project

supported by the United Nations and the World Bank, is talking to

London-based agency networks about a global ad campaign to promote the

place of Christ’s birth as the 2,000th anniversary approaches.



Ogilvy & Mather has been helping a group of UK churches with preliminary

costings on a possible cross-denominational ad drive to coincide with

the millennium. Reverend Richard Thomas, who chairs the churches

communications and advertising group for the millennium, said the

campaign would position the year 2000 as a ’new start’ for

spirituality.



’It challenges the Government’s approach, which has been all about

millennium domes and parties,’ Thomas said. ’It doesn’t matter how

secular you are, you can’t get away from the fact that the millennium

celebrates 2,000 years since Christ’s birth.’



Lambie Nairn has already produced logos on the ’new start’ theme. Thomas

said the next 12 months would be crucial in getting support among the

churches and trying to find funds for the project. If successful, he

would then go ahead with an agency search.



Meanwhile, Saatchi & Saatchi and M&C Saatchi are understood to have been

approached by Palestinian officials about Bethlehem 2000, which will

stage events designed to entice pilgrims to the town. The project has

attracted more than dollars 7 million in infrastructure and

archeological restoration investment and now aims to embark on a

marketing drive.



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