Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Newest Texas Anti-Abortion Ad Ruins Season Premiere of "CSI: Miami"

A typical Majella Society Billboard in Austin (photo credit)

If you live in Austin, Texas you may have noticed the "Pregnant? Scared?" billboards around town. Actually, if you live in Anywhere, USA you may have noticed these billboards around town: they're boilerplate ads for organizations affiliated with OptionLine, a national anti-abortion "pregnancy crisis" hotline.

Here in Austin, the local affiliate is the Majella Society, which literally provides no services other than billboards and, shockingly, PSAs during primetime television encouraging young women to call the hotline for help. You can even text "pregnant" to them if you don't want to have them tell you you're a slut for having premarital sex on the phone.

Imagine my surprise when, during last night's season premiere of "CSI: Miami" I saw the above commercial. Apparently, these ads are effective by Majella's measures. The below stats are from the page featuring links to all of their ads.

Consider these results:
*Made 149,713,54 impressions among Texans
*Reached target market of women between 18 and 49 an average of 21 times
*Professional polling data confirms that the Austin area population, moved 5 points in a consistent life-affirming point of view, from 27 percent to 32 percent
In 2008 in Texas we--
*Received more than 18,000 calls to OptionLine
*Reached 136,800+ Texas teens through our Web site

Their website reveals a host of interesting information, including that their fundraising dinners this fall will feature Mike Huckabee and Kathy Ireland--and that they're expanding to Chicago. But one thing their website doesn't deliver? Financials. The page is "under construction." But if they've got enough cash to run an ad during the season premiere of America's most awesome television show, their "financials" must be pretty interesting...


Amasea said...

is it just me, or does Majella sound like an STI?

seriously, if you run an ad with cute little entrepreneurs saying they're glad to be alive (though I'd love to see a parody ad full of zombie fetuses saying "I'm dead, and when I grow up I want to eat braaaaaaains!") yeah, sure, you're going to get people to support a life-affirming point of view.
Hard to imagine them actually expressing a balanced viewpoint and also showing the kids who are born into crack houses or abusive families who aren't so glad to be alive.

Anonymous said...

That reminds me! I'd meant to tell you that on a recent drive through rural Maryland I saw several similar billboards--all by the same random organization I'd never heard how (perhaps it was Majella??). I remember two distinctly.

1) a picture of two young toddlers dressed as a bride and a groom with the caption "Children of married couples are better off than those whose parents are divorced" [seemed like it was supposed to be a statistic but realy came across more like a judgment.]


2) A young hispanic woman with hands on her hips staring at you sassily with the caption: "I'm not giving up and I'm not giving in." [I assume this had to do with pre-marital sex, but how knows, it could have been her feelings about Anal]


Anonymous said...

excuse my typos above...

Go-To Girl said...

maryland has a long history of this kind of stuff. i can vividly remember driving to baltimore (my aunt used to live there so we drove there all the time) and on the BW parkway there was a billboard with "virgin" spray painted in red and the tagline said "teach your kids it's not a dirty word." my earliest memory of it is maybe 1988 or so (when i figured out what virgin meant) but i was up for years. and the highways around baltimore have lots of billboards featuring black people and marriage messages. not sure who's behind them, but majella is only in texas and coming soon to chicago.

Jim Pivonka said...

One possible money source - Philip Anschutz, who took a small family owned oil outfit and built a billion dollar empire on it; acquired Rio Grand Western RR, then Southern Pacific and (I think) Santa Fe; then built internet fiber infrastucture in the RR rights of way. He is generally shy of overt politics, and puts his money into just this kind of advertisin, instead.

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