February 03, 2005

Lustful cleric ad is now commercial that never was


By Bonnie Miller Rubin and Meg McSherry Breslin, Tribune staff reporters. Tribune staff reporter Jim Kirk contributed to this report
Posted February 3 2005

An automaker on Wednesday said it would pull a 30-second Super Bowl commercial featuring a clergyman who lusts in his heart for a truck, after a group representing victims of clergy sex abuse registered its outrage.

In the ad, the clergyman discovers an unusual tithe in the collection plate: the keys to a new Lincoln Mark LT. The cleric checks out the truck and finds it heavenly, but then is returned to earth when the owner arrives to say his little girl had put the keys on the plate by mistake. The commercial ends with the clergyman adjusting the church marquee to note that next week's sermon will be on "lust."

Leaders of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests sent a letter Wednesday to Ford Motor Co., urging the firm to withdraw the ad, contending it trivializes and exploits the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.

"We are appalled at how insensitive this ad is," SNAP president Barbara Blaine said in a statement. "It just rubs salt into an already very deep and still hurting wound for many of us."

Posted by kshaw at February 3, 2005 09:20 AM