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Trade Mag Notes Influence of Pro-Family Leader on Advertising Industry

by Ed Thomas and Jenni Parker
December 30, 2004
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(AgapePress) - The founder of the Mississippi-based American Family Association has been named among the top ten most influential people in marketing over the past year. The recognition for Dr. Donald E. Wildmon came from Advertising Age, a leading international trade paper for advertising and marketing professionals.

In its December "Book of Tens," Advertising Age lists Wildmon as one of the top ten people who made a mark on marketing in 2004. The popular weekly trade publication names Wildmon among other high-profile figures, such as presidential adviser Karl Rove, filmmaker Mel Gibson, and television producer Mark Burnett as among the biggest influences on the marketing world this year.

The magazine cited successful campaigns by the American Family Association to pull advertisers from major TV network programs like Desperate Housewives, Life As We Know It, and He's a Lady. In addition, the publication credited AFA and its online network of supporters, whose push for action -- as well as that of other pro-family groups -- caused the Federal Communications Commission to issue its largest broadcast indecency fine in history against CBS after singer Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" and brief partial nudity during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.

Advertising Age says of Wildmon, "Like him or hate him, this family-values crusader is having a big impact." AFA's media spokesperson Kathryn Hooks could not agree more, who points out that the influence of Wildmon is real enough to make the secular media take notice.

"For Advertising Age to list Donald Wildmon in the top ten most influential people on the world of marketing, right up there with Karl Rove and Mel Gibson, marks the tremendous impact the American Family Association has on the advertising and entertainment industries," says Hooks.

According to Hooks, the power of persuasion exercised by AFA is only as effective as supporters who are willing to take action -- and Wildmon, she says, gives them all the credit for forcing media advertisers to take notice of them as their customers.

"Mr. Wildmon applauds the millions of moms and dads [who support AFA]," she says. "He attributes this recognition [from Advertising Age] to AFA's OneMillionMoms and OneMillionDads [AFA activist websites], who relentlessly take action in the name of preserving moral decency in America for their children and their children's children."

The Mississippi-based AFA, a pro-family action organization with more than two million online supporters, promotes and advocates for traditional family values, focusing heavily on the influence of television and other media on culture and society. Wildmon founded the organization in 1977.

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