The Anti-Anti-Semitic Church Ad that was Anti-Semitic

February 7, 2007 by

Despite our title, it’s not often that we rag on specific churches for their marketing efforts. We’ve yet to offer a ‘worst church marketing blunders of the year’ list, but if we did this might make the cut:

The First Baptist Church placed an ad promoting the sermon “The Only Way to Destroy the Jewish Race” in Saturday’s Portland Press Herald.

Whoops. Apparently Pastor Phil Andrukaitis’ goal was to target those who harbor some small resentment towards Israel and Jews and get them to come to church to hear a different viewpoint. Ah, the ol’ bait and switch. It’s not an authentic marketing method in the first place, but using something as bait that will offend any normal person is probably a bad idea.

Phil apologized and the Anti-Defamation League even stood up for Phil: “The ad was alarming and insensitive, but his intentions were to educate people about anti-Semitism.”

Too bad good intentions don’t make good marketing.

A little Google sleuthing also reveals that a Maine Democrats blog has compared him to the Taleban [sic] for his “no middle ground” comments in a debate over gay rights. Poor Phil. His intentions may be pure, but his public image is taking a thrashing.

(link via Mike Atkinson)

More: Avoiding & Addressing Criticism

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Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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