Free Speech and Advertising (updated)

News hit the 'net today that Rolling Stone has refused to publish an ad for a Bible that Zondervan is publishing. It is a translation-for-modern-times or some such slightly dangerous endeavor, but actually a real product for sale.

What is fascinating to me is that this is the exact same situation that Ad Busters finds itself in. (Read more about it here) They want to run ads that point out the ridiculous consumption trap that North Americans are in.

Adbusters and Zondervan are very different organizations whose messages I agree with: Corporations will destroy my freedom in the name of making money and Christ offers true hope. Adbusters is a far left, anti-corporate organization. Zondervan is a far right, pro-Christian organization. Zondervan sells stuff. Adbusters is about ideas. Neither of them can get their message into the media because the media doesn't like the message. Adbusters can't run ads that disparage consumption because the television stations depend on consumption to fuel advertising to buy ads to bring in revenue. Zondervan can't run an ad for a Bible because Rolling Stone thinks their audience will stop buying their magazine if they do. If your message is hostile to the corporations that control the media you do not get access to the media. Media corporations are controlling the message.

And in particular they are restricting the important messages that people need to hear.

Apparently Rolling Stone has relented and is now going to run the ad. Interesting... I wonder if the blog world response had anything to do with that?

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Corporations only destroy your freedom if you allow them.

Posted by: Nate at January 27, 2005 11:15 AM

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