Russian businessman funds pro-God ad campaign on London buses

LONDON, January 29 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian TV producer said on Thursday he was launching a “There is God” advertizing campaign in London to counter atheist posters displayed on buses in January.

Posters reading “There is God. Don’t Worry. Enjoy your life!” will appear on London buses in March, said Alexander Korobko, the head of the London-based Russian Hour satellite TV channel.

A campaign organized by the British Humanist Association (BHA), which has raised 140,000 pounds ($200,000) instead of the planned 5,500, put slogans reading “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” on 800 buses.

The campaign drew protests from religious organizations and believers, but advertising regulators said it was not in conflict with legislation.

“Who said faith in God does not allow us to enjoy life?” Korobko said, describing how his surprise at the posters had eventually evolved into an alternative campaign.

Korobko said his channel had signed a contract with CBS Outdoor to put “There is God” posters on 25 London double-deckers from March 9. The posters will have photographs of a Russian monastery on them.

He said he had discussed the idea with Russian Orthodox Church officials in London and Moscow and had received their approval.

“We are living in a difficult time, when crisis is being extensively ‘promoted’… and people need some life-asserting message,” he said, adding the campaign was financed by the channel.

Speaking ahead of the atheist campaign, BHA chief executive Hanne Stinson told the BBC: "We see so many posters advertising salvation through Jesus or threatening us with eternal damnation, that I feel sure that a bus advert like this will be welcomed as a breath of fresh air.

“If it raises a smile as well as making people think, so much the better,” she said.

en.rian.ru/society/20090129/119878848.html

industry.bnet.com/advertising/1000705/christians-strike-back-against-atheist-advertisers/

nytimes.com/2009/02/06/world/europe/06briefs-CHRISTIANGRO_BRF.html?_r=1

Another Christian organization funding an ad campaign: news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090205/lf_afp/lifestylebritainreligiontransport

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