From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ACNS3227 Ad campaign launched in Scotland to reclaim Christmas

From "Anglican Communion News Service" <>
Date Thu, 12 Dec 2002 23:29:06 -0000

ACNS 3227     |     SCOTLAND	 |     11 DECEMBER 2002

Ad campaign launched to reclaim Christmas

The first Scotland-wide advertising campaign to publicise the real meaning
of Christmas will be launched on 11th December 2003 in train stations across
the nation.

Posters in the ground-breaking "Losing the plot" campaign are going up now
in, among others, Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Queen Street stations. The
Scottish Episcopal Church plans to place hundreds more in stations and
churches in the countdown to 25th December.

The posters show one of the three kings looking down in horror at a price
tag left on his gift of gold to the baby Jesus. The slogan reads: "Losing
the plot? Give yourself a break at church this Christmas."

Church leaders today said the campaign was not a killjoy attempt to stamp
out presents and parties around the festive season. It was more a
light-hearted bid to restore the balance and remind people of the real
reason for all the celebration.

"We're not trying to take the commercialisation out of Christmas," said the
Most Rev Bruce Cameron, head or 'Primus' of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

"Shopping for presents and parties can be great fun. I enjoy that aspect of
Christmas myself. What we're trying to do is to restore the balance and put
the Christmas message back into our celebrations."

The Scottish Episcopal Church joined forces with the Churches Advertising
Network (CAN), a group of Christian media professionals, to launch the
campaign in Scotland. Hundreds of posters will also appear in train stations
across England and Wales.

Train stations were chosen as the main location to catch people on shopping
excursions and on the way to Christmas get-togethers.

Church organisers said the campaign would act as a counter-balance to the
advertising efforts of high street stores like Marks & Spencer and Toys R Us
to force their brand on to the festive season.

Toys R Us is currently trying to entice shoppers with the slogan "Christmas
is...Toys R Us". Denise van Outen, Cold Feet Star Hermione Norris, Graham
Norton, Sean Bean and David Beckham are all currently lining up on TV to
claim that Marks & Spencer is "What makes Christmas magic".

The Primus, who is also Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney, said: "What concerns me
about these campaigns is that they can give the impression that you've got
to spend money to find the meaning of Christmas.

"We are saying that the real gifts of Christmas are love and peace, which
are both priceless. You can't buy them in a store. But they are the gifts
that I'd like to give to the children of Baghdad and Jerusalem this

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