FFRF’s most popular television commercial was featured several times in February on one of CNN’s most high-profile shows.
FFRF ran its memorable ad featuring “unabashed atheist” Ron Reagan on “Anderson Cooper 360°.” The spot aired twice on the show Mondays and Wednesdays from Feb. 5 to Feb. 25.
FFRF’s commercial says: “Hi, I’m Ron Reagan, an unabashed atheist, and I’m alarmed by the intrusion of religion into our secular government. That’s why I’m asking you to support the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the nation’s largest and most effective association of atheists and agnostics, working to keep state and church separate, just like our Founding Fathers intended. Please support the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Ron Reagan, lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.”
The ad also ran Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” for three weeks. Unfortunately, due to network censorship, the ad was limited to 10 markets:
• Washington, D.C.
• Tampa, Fla.
• Portland, Ore.
• Columbus, Ohio
• Austin, Texas
• Las Vegas
• Madison, Wis.
These are CBS-affiliated stations not owned by CBS. CBS Network, ABC, NBC and Discovery Science have all refused to air the 30-second spot. Although the Reagan ad ran last year on several regional CBS-owned stations, and was contracted to return, national CBS has clamped down.
The audio version of the Ron Reagan ad is broadcasting on a major New York-area radio station: WCBS News Radio 880, which covers New York City and the surrounding region. It aired 75 times between Monday, Feb. 5, and Sunday, Feb. 25.
“We’re pleased to present our message to so many different audiences, in spite of the constraints of censorship,” comments FFRF Co-President Dan Barker.
The ad has been a major fount of publicity for FFRF and has helped bring in thousands of new members.
“We’re delighted at how many folks we’ve been able to reach through this commercial that Ron Reagan kindly recorded for us,” adds Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president.