DULUTH, GA: Even God is getting into the Supreme Court debate.
In 25 cities, drivers may encounter a billboard reading "The real Supreme Court meets up here." It and several other signs represent The DeMoss Group's recent revival of a campaign called God Speaks, consisting of billboards ghostwritten with simple, yet poignant, quotes from "God."
Other quotes include "As my apprentice, you're never fired," and "One nation under me."
The program, made possible by anonymous donors and ad shop The Smith Agency in 1999, has returned to 400-plus billboards thank to Demoss, which specializes in faith-based clients. Thus far it has earned widespread media attention in a country divided on issues of faith.
President Mark DeMoss said the media attention could be partially explained by the current environment.
"Some of it may be attributable to the Supreme Court saying, some may just be related to an influx of more boards going up," DeMoss said.
DeMoss said that billboards go up where and when space is available. That uncertainty requires an atypical PR program, where DeMoss begins pitching the local media or fielding media requests only once a new billboard goes up.
"If we get a report that three billboards just went up in Houston, we can build some publicity in a Houston campaign," DeMoss said.
The Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) is donating the space as its public service campaign for 2005, and the donors covering the rest of the costs remain anonymous. The Smith Agency is no longer involved.
DeMoss is not entirely sure how the anonymous benefactors learned about his firm, but talks began in earnest in 2004.
The firm whittled down 130 potential sayings to the nine that began appearing on billboards in March. Focus groups and the OAAA helped make the choices.
"The overall objective was to present sayings that, in total, reflect different characteristics of God and provoke curiosity," DeMoss said.
DeMoss said that he has not encountered any criticism about the program from secularists.
"The first campaign proved that it was creative and inoffensive," DeMoss said. "Even people who may not believe in God have not seemed to be offended by the sayings."