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The Da Vinci Code

About Campus Crusade for Christ's
opposition to the movie

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Sponsored link.

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This is part of the front cover of a pamphlet that Campus Crusade for Christ volunteers are distributing in theatres where The Da Vinci Code is being shown. Their website has a range of resources that attempt to expose errors (from a conservative Christian perspective) in the Da Vinci Code book and movie. See: http://www.crusade.org/

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Cineplex Odeon Corporation "....leases or has a joint venture interest in 129 theatres with 1,269 screens and is the largest motion picture exhibitor in Canada." 1 On 2006-MAY-17, they cancelled an in-theatre advertising campaign by Campus Crusade for Christ Canada (CCCC). The CCCC had spent $63,000 (in U.S. dollars) to create a ten second ad that referred viewers to its website at http://www.DiscussDaVinci.com. 2 The agreement to show the ad before the Da Vinci movie in 65 Cineplex cinemas in Ontario and Western Canada unraveled two days before the Da Vinci Code was released. An article in the Toronto Star allegedly triggered the Cineplex decision. 3 Rick Westhead wrote:

"North America's largest evangelical group, Campus Crusade, has mobilized a small army of volunteers from Toronto to Vancouver willing to stalk movie-goers in the line outside cinemas. They plan to hand out biblical tracts debunking the movie's claim that Jesus had a child with Mary Magdalene and that the Catholic lay organization Opus Dei has covered up the scandalous affair for more than 2,000 years."

Braden Douglas, a marketing specialist for CCC said:

"In the past, many Christian groups just said, 'Here's the way we think, and that's the way it is.' But times have changed. Talking about Christian issues takes communicating with people in means they understand and enjoy. In today's culture, this happens to be media and entertainment."

He notes that religious advertising in Canada is in its infancy. He attributes this to the lack of trust in Canada towards organized religion. He quoted two well established numbers: "In the U.S., 40 per cent of people still go to church. In Canada, it's 19 per cent." Actually, there is a major difference between what people say they do and what they actually do. When church-going noses are counted,  more accurate estimates of regular church attendance are 20% and 10%.

Kenneth Wong, a marketing professor at Queen's University in Kingston, ON, said:

"It's simple, they want it to work. The definition of insanity is when you do the same thing over and over and expect to get different results, and the church's traditional methods just weren't working. What's happened is that there are people in the church now who are saying, 'marketing doesn't make us a cult. We're not looking to strip people of their worldly assets. We're just talking about good communication'."

Diane Rajh, a Cineplex ad salesperson, allegedly sent an E-mail to CCCC saying, in part:

"With the knowledge that this organization plans to 'stalk' our moviegoers outside of our theatres handing out unapproved material concerning a film we are presenting, we cannot lend support to this activity by running this campaign."

Brian Hutchinson of the National Post wrote:

"Campus Crusade distributed cards and brochures that promote its Da Vinci Code Web site; the material reached as many as 30,000 individuals and churches across Canada. While the brochures contain a brief gospel message at the bottom, 'they are not what most people would consider as biblical tracts,' Mr. Douglas noted."

" 'Ten students in Montreal said they might go out to a few theatres and hand out the material,' he added. '"A handful of students in Calgary said they might as well. This is not some massive army we have assembled'."

"Reached at her office in Toronto, Cineplex spokeswoman Pat Marshall said it was not, in fact, her company's view that Campus Crusade planned to harass moviegoers. The e-mail that Cineplex sent to the organization was a 'mistake.' Ms. Rajh, she added, 'is misinformed'."

"Cineplex's decision to drop the brief spot was made because the company 'does not show any religious advertising at all,' Ms. Marshall explained, even if it promotes a film the company is showing in its theatres. The contract with Campus Crusade was made in error. 'It slipped though the cracks'." 4

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Corporate Information, Cineplex Entertainment, at: http://www.cineplex.com/
  2. "Cineplex won't show Christian group's ads," The Toronto Star, 2006-MAY-18.
  3. Rick Westhead, "Evangelicals hope to break the Code. Evangelicals hone media savvy to counter Da Vinci 'heresy'," The Toronto Star, 2006-MAR-16, at: http://www.thestar.com/
  4. Brian Hutchinson, "Christian ad about Code gets pulled," National Post, 2006-MAY-19, at: http://www.canada.com/

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Home page > Religions > Christianity > History, beliefs...  > Da Vinci Code > here

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Copyright © 2006 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2006-MAY-18
Latest update: 2006-MAY-22
Author: B.A. Robinson

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