Understanding Focus’s Ad Blitz

Yesterday I wrote about Focus on the Family’s new “Thanks Fred” ad campaign seeking to rake in donations from unsuspecting television viewers across the country.  What I didn’t understand at the time was why, out of nowhere, Focus was suddenly unveiling a nationwide ad campaign soliciting donations, which is something that, to my recollection, it had never done before.  

But then I came across this blurb in a Colorado paper and it all started to make sense:

Hundreds of local workers are about to swell the ranks of the unemployed. Focus on the Family, Western Forge and Trane are all planning job cuts.

Focus has not confirmed how many jobs will be lost

That reminded me that I had actually written about pending layoffs at Focus earlier this year:

Focus on the Family has announced a restructuring within its distribution arm that will affect 46 employees through layoffs or reassignment.

Over the last several years, Focus has experienced a significant decline in its sales of books, CDs and DVDs because of competition from online retailers and large retailers like Wal-Mart.

The restructuring is tied to Focus’ partnership with Christian Book Distributors, which will take over its product distribution, according to a news release from Focus.

“We are accountable to our donors to spend their money in the most cost-effective and productive manner possible,” Focus Chief Operating Officer Glenn Williams said in a statement. “It is certainly heartbreaking that in this case fulfilling that duty means having to say goodbye to some members of our Focus family, but industry realities really leave us no alternative.”

This round of layoffs comes on top of a separate round of layoffs the year before – all told, Focus has reportedly had to shed nearly 80 jobs in the last two years due to declines in donations and sales.  

Focus’s headquarters in Colorado is so large that is has its own zip code yet, if you take a look at their list of current job openings, you find that the only position available at the moment is for a Senior Business Reports Developer.

Perhaps that explains why Focus is suddenly running an ad campaign seeking donations.