UCC's marketer leaves; so do Puerto Ricans

Ad campaign increased visibility and controversy
The United Church of Christ, whose often-daring progressive stances on full inclusion of homosexual worshipers in church life stir controversy inside and outside the denomination, suffered two losses last month.

•The creator of the UCC’s much-hyped “God Is Still Speaking” ad campaign announced June 12 that he is leaving his position with the denomination. Ron Buford, 49, who directed the provocative effort to “rebrand” the UCC through expensive television commercials and other efforts, said the decision to part ways was mutual.

The marketing entrepreneur’s work brought headlines when television networks refused to air ads that touted the UCC’s inclusiveness.

One ad, in which a black woman, a gay couple and other minorities are ejected from church pews, was deemed “too controversial” by the networks. Some TV officials contended that one line in the commercial—“God doesn’t reject people. Neither do we”—was an implied slur on other churches.

 

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