Ellen Garbarino, assistant professor of marketing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, said church advertising, like a pitch for soap, can help provide consumer awareness and lead to sampling. Then it's up to the church to keep a new member, she said.
But the UCC might face a consumer backlash, according to Garbarino, who said people expect ads on cars and candy, not necessarily churches.
I remember the Mormon church advertising regularly when I was a youngster in the '70s. That was the only way that I even knew what a Mormon was, growing up in Wisconsin suburbia. The Episcopal Church tried advertising a few years ago, but I haven't heard any mention of it since, other than regular sponsorship of the local NPR station by several local churches. The point is, church advertising is not exactly new. Thus I would expect a marketing professor to have statistics to back up claims for caution. Perhaps Prof. Garbarino does have such stats, and was cut short by the reporter. In that case I criticize the reporter for creating the incorrect impression that mainline churches have not regularly advertised before.
(via Marcus Maroney)