Baha'i Faith Will Advertise

The Christian Century, Volume 63, Number 39 (September 25, 1946): p. 1141


Baha'i Faith Will Advertise

THROUGH the columns of Tide, a magazine devoted to the science, art and practice of profitable publicity, comes an extended announcement of a "low-pressure advertising campaign" about to be launched by the central organization of the Baha'i faith. A recognized firm of advertising experts and agents has been employed, and "an initial budget of $30,000 has been set up to cover public relations counsel, advertising and educational work." Two lines of approach are to be followed: one directed toward the general public, through Newsweek and similar periodicals; the other aimed at the makers and molders of publicity, through trade journals of the publishing and broadcasting industries. The plan is all right. The Baha'is have something to sell. In the wider aspects of their faith, it is a creed of universal brotherhood, interracial and international good will, the "spiritual oneness of mankind," and therefore of peace on earth. It is perhaps this side that will receive the most conspicuous publicity. To make the picture complete it should also include not only the magnificent Baha'i temple on Chicago's north shore, as it doubtless will, but also quite specific information about the claims of special divine inspiration and authority for Baha u'llah and his son, Abd'l-Baha, and the unique position of the present hereditary incumbent, Shoghi Effendi, and about the highly centralized control which is exercised over the cult's teaching, publication and administration. It is interesting, and may be helpfully suggestive to other religious bodies, to see how this worthy group, which had its origins among the Mohammedans of Persia about a century ago, makes use of the most modern techniques for making friends and influencing people - especially in the second section of its advertising campaign which is directed toward making friends of those who are in a position to influence people.

Copyright ©1946 The Christian Century

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