Just a few months ago, Focus on the Family underwent yet another round of layoffs, thereby reducing its workforce to 860, down from 1400 in 2002. The reason cited for the layoffs was the organization’s shrinking budget, which makes the millions they are about to spend running an anti-choice Super Bowl ad all the more remarkable:
Focus on the Family will air a 30-second television spot featuring University of Florida star quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother Pam, during the Super Bowl Feb. 7.
TNS Media Intelligence reported Monday that 30-second Super Bowl commercial slots are selling for $2.5 million to $2.8 million, down from last year’s record price on NBC of $3 million, to reach an estimated 100 million viewers.
“Every cent for this ad was paid for by generous donors who specifically gave for this project because they are excited about this opportunity for Focus to show who we are and what we do,” [Focus spokesman Gary Schneeberger] said.
So donors coughed up millions so Focus could run a Super Bowl ad while laying off hundreds of employees and apparently the organization doesn’t see anything wrong with that:
NEWSCHANNEL 13: “If this has been in the work for a few months…why not tell the people donating this money, ‘how about you donate the money and we don’t layoff employees instead?'”
“One of the things about those who work at Focus is really, it’s more than a job it’s a calling, and one of the things that we did in that staff reduction was look at ways to improve our efficiencies,” said Schneeberger. “I don’t know if there’s a designated way to say I want that to go to employee salaries, but the general fund is where employee salaries come from.”
NEWSCHANNEL 13: “Should any of those former employees think any different that their jobs could have been saved by someone donating to the extent of $2.5 million to Focus on the Family for jobs and for paying salaries, instead of for a Super Bowl ad?”
“I can’t really speak for what the employees who were affected by that situation would say,” said Schneeberger.