What did we learn from all this?
For one, the ads are great for business.
Since [the Iowa ads went back up], DART has received at least five calls from potential new advertisers, said Kirsten Baer-Harding, DART advertising manager. At least one was from a religious group, she said.
In many cities there have been counter advertisements to ads like the ones run by the Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers, said General Manager Brad Miller.
It helps the atheist groups:
Membership in the Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers has doubled from what it was before the ad campaign began…
“I think we got more than we were looking for,” said Lily Kryuchkov, board member with the Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers. As of Monday, the group has about 250 members.
And we also learned that people who don’t allow for the atheists’ ads to be put up have some pathetic explanations for their decisions:
The issue with the ads in Des Moines was with the word God, said Elizabeth Prusetti, chief development officer for the bus agency.
“We have never allowed that word in our advertising, promoting a religion,” she said. “We’ve never used the word God in any advertising to maintain some autonomy. We’ve had churches advertise but it’s been for their church and not a belief.”
So they won’t advertise God, but they will advertise church.
So by that logic, DART would’ve been ok with an ad that said:
Don’t want to go to church? Don’t bother. Sleep in and enjoy your life.
They could’ve told the atheists that and spared them all the trouble…
Finally, we learned that we need to keep these kinds of ads going all over the place.
They reach out to rational people everywhere, and they allow religious groups to make mountains out of molehills, making themselves look foolish in the process. Win, win.
More ads are on their way. Keep them coming. Keep the discussions going.