Though Christmas is still six months away, the organization ChurchAds.net has chosen the design for its Christmas ad campaign. The selected design, called "Ultrasound Jesus," depicts an ultrasound image of an unborn baby with a halo above his head and the caption, “He's on His way. Christmas starts with Christ.” The image quickly angered pro-abortion and atheists groups with its alleged pro-life sentiments.
ChurchAds.net is a British marketing and advertising organization that brings together various Christian denominations such as Anglicans, Methodists and Baptists. The Catholic Church is not part of the group.
The authors state that they want to spread the true meaning and origin of Christmas. It is estimated that the ad will reach over 40 million people in the weeks before Christmas.
The vice-chair of ChurchAds.net, Mike Elms, told the Guardian newspaper, “We wanted to convey that Christmas starts with Christ. That this baby was on the way. Then we thought that the scan was a way of conveying that: it is modern currency in announcing a modern birth. We put a halo on it because theologians speak of Jesus being fully human and fully divine."
Secular and pro-abortion organizations such as Britain’s National Secular Society (NSS) have expressed great dissatisfaction with the campaign and have called it, "politically motivated" and "naïve." “The image is too specifically associated with pro-lifers to be seen in a benign context. They should go back to angels and cribs,” said Terry Sanderson of the NSS.
The Spanish pro-life watchdog organization, HazteOir.org has said that this campaign represents "something out of a horror movie" for the abortion industry.
"Perhaps the abortion industry fears that this campaign may be more successful than their own,” said HazteOir. “For example, Marie Stopes International (a firm responsible for approximately 65,000 abortions annually) began promoting abortion via television advertising last May, as though it were a common product, and reaped immense civic opposition."
Though his organization had no part in creating the campaign, John Smeaton of England’s Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child told the Guardian that he welcomed the ad.
“The advert is saying that Jesus was alive as a person before he was born,” he said. “ They have a halo round his head and you don't have a halo around the head of a blob of jelly or a cluster of cells. This is not a cluster of cells but a human person and it just happens to be the God man Jesus.”
“It is about the humanity of the unborn,” Smeaton added. “That is a very, very powerful statement that will strike a chord with the general population."
The campaign will begin formally on December 6, 2010, but the distribution of the "Ultrasound Jesus" material has already begun.