Just when most people thought there’d be a respite from all the political “beatdown” ads over the holiday--here come the messages from former advertising executive, Tom Peterson of Roswell, Georgia. He has been busy as the President and Founder of a non-profit organization and campaign called Catholics Come Home.
Peterson, viewed by some as a Catholic zealot, created TV spots, reportedly costing about $4 million to air on prime time network and cable stations such as NBC, Univision, CNN, CBS, TNT and even during sporting events and sitcoms. The commercials went into rotation December 17 and will run through January 23, 2012.
The purpose is to get Catholics to return to the Church, which has been bleeding followers. According to the Pew Research Center: While nearly one-in-three Americans (31%) were raised in the Catholic faith, today fewer than one-in-four (24%) describe themselves as Catholic.
The other part of the equation, Peterson sold his spots to Diocesan leaders around the country and the parishes are footing the bill and getting “primo” placement on the stations across the country.
Peterson is also the brains behind Virtue Media. According to SourceWatch:
Virtue Media creates and airs anti-abortion commercials on cable and broadcast television stations in over 1,500 local media markets around the U.S... Some of Virtue Media's ads feature women sharing stories of the depression, nightmares, infertility problems, suicidal thoughts and guilt they experienced after an abortion. In January, 2011, Virtue Media began running ads featuring Norma McCorvey, the woman whose court case was the basis of Roe v Wade in 1973. McCorvey, who converted to Christianity in 1995, now makes anti-abortion commercials.
So, it seems Peterson has put together a slick marketing package; bringing together Catholic conservatives and evangelicals to boost their numbers and influence in Washington and statehouses. Conservatives want say-so on social issues (abortion, gay marriage) and need the help of the returnees and the help of a growing immigrant(Hispanic) population.