ABC's acceptance of an advertisement from a conservative, faith-based organization has touched off a debate about who can and who cannot buy commercial time to present their viewpoints.Monday's season finale of "Supernanny" included a commercial for a Web site offering child-rearing advice from Focus on the Family, a group that says its "primary reason for existence is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through a practical outreach to homes."
The United Church of Christ, a Cleveland-based church that says it has 1.3 million members, has asked why the Focus on the Family ad was accepted when ABC rejected its requests to buy time as part of its national advertising campaign. The United Church of Christ ads, which depicted a variety of people - gay, disabled, racially diverse - said: "Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we."
Olivia Cohen-Cutler, senior vice president for broadcast standards and policy at ABC, said in a statement, "The ABC Television Network does not accept ads from organizations which present religious doctrine." The network said it accepts ads from religious organizations, including the Salvation Army, as long as the commercials do not proselytize