Following on from a post I wrote last week about an ad that was deemed offensive, I’m interested to know what you make of the ad below which was recently run as a mobile billboard in South London by a Christian pressure group that calls itself The Christian Congress for Traditional Values (CCTV).

The ad shows a picture of family consisting of a man, a woman and a young son and daughter next to the statement “GAY AIM: ABOLISH THE FAMILY.” The CCTVs website address is printed beneath the body copy and a banner across the picture of the family identified CCTV and showed the pressure groups logo.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the ad came to the attention of the Advertising Standards Agency which was categorized last week by a Ryanair spokesman as being a “bunch of unelected, self-appointed dimwits [who] are clearly incapable of fairly and impartially ruling on advertising.”

The Agency deemed the CCTV billboard to be an inaccurate representation of the views of gay people and that the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence or condone anti-social behaviour. It has since told the CCTV to ensure future campaigns were not presented in a similar way.

As you might expect the CCTV, which is run by a Bishop Michael Reid, felt the ad was entirely reasonable and the potential for the ad to cause offence was “minimal” because the aim to redefine the concept of the family was “so widely and openly acknowledged” by the homosexual community. Citing a 1971 Gay Liberation Front manifesto as an example supporting its position the organisation claimed the campaigners who “sought same-sex marriage did not do so simply to achieve the same domestic situation that was available to heterosexuals, but also because they aimed to redefine and abolish the traditional family.”


After watching the organisations leader and spokesman, Bishop Michael Reid, on a couple of videos posted on the CCTV website, I became curious as to what denomination had ordained him and made him a Bishop. After spending a few fruitless minutes trying to find this information I decided instead to simply call the Bishops office and ask a member of his staff.

However, despite being placed on hold several times while various staffers were asked the question, nobody at Bishop Michael Reid Ministries was able to tell me by whom he had been ordained. In the end I was asked why I wanted the information and eventually told instead to refer to him as Doctor Michael Reid as he has a doctorate from Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma, USA.

In the case of the Ryanair ad controversy I could have believed the airline was behind the brouhaha that surrounded the newspaper ad. Could it possible that as a Christian pressure group the CCTV might have used similar cunning? Somehow I doubt it. But as one Christian group rallies hatred toward the gay community another will march in the forthcoming Mardi Gras parade in Sydney Australia to apologise for the church’s hostility toward gay and lesbian people. Jerry Falwell would be turning in his grave!

The Christian Congress for Traditional Values
Bishop Michael Reid Ministries
Bishop Michael Reid’s church
‘Family values’ poster ruled offensive
ASA rule against anti-gay ad
Midlands Bible College blog post about Bishop Ried
Something’s not quite right in Brentwood
The oracle of Essex
[Video] BBC TV News report