PFLAG SPOTS RETURN TO TV;GAY-TOLERANCE GROUP ENLISTS NORDSTROM, NEW AGENCY

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Parents, Family & Friends of Lesbians & Gays relaunched a $1 million anti-hate TV advertising effort, stalled late last year in battles with stations and networks.

This time around, Nordstrom will be a sponsor. The Seattle-based department store signed on as a supporter of the campaign, dubbed "Project Open Mind," with a $2,500 cash donation.

PFLAG launched its campaign from new agency Shepardson Stern & Kaminsky, New York, last week on the Big 3 network affiliates in Seattle, with a second execution due this week and buys planned in St. Louis and Minneapolis by October.

SPOTS LAUNCH IN NORTHWEST

"We wanted the Pacific Northwest because of the high volume of anti-gay activity particularly in Washington and Oregon," said Jeffrey Garrett, PFLAG campaign manager.

Schedules are planned for additional cities in the West and Midwest in January, with the $1 million annual campaign expected to continue for up to five years.

PFLAG was forced to reconsider previous creative from Markman & Zimmerman, Santa Monica, Calif., after rejections by CNN, Court TV and stations in Atlanta and Houston, as well as cancellation within a few days in Tulsa and Washington.

The group followed with a print campaign-protesting its broadcast blackout-in USA Today and local market newspapers.

"We began to strategize and had to make some tough decisions, but our first priority was to get the message out," said Mr. Garrett.

One new execution emphasizes that gay youth are three times as likely as heterosexual contemporaries to commit suicide; the other stresses hate speech through unidentified voice-overs, replacing earlier clips of Pat Robertson from the "700 Club" as well as Jerry Falwell and Sen. Jesse Helms (R., N.C.) as examples of hate speech.

EMOTIONALLY COMPELLING ADS

"The new ads are emotionally compelling but keep the focus without introducing issues of religion or politics," said Mr. Garrett.

The first ads resulted in letters from the Christian Broadcasting Network threatening lawsuits against PFLAG and any station or network that carried the ads. No legal action has been taken yet by CBN.

"The first phase was to get people to pay attention, they have a lot of things on their minds and this is not the first," said Lenny Stern, CEO of SS&K. "This campaign helps the `movable middle' feel comfortable talking around the kitchen table on this issue and frame the debate in a fundamental manner they can agree on."

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