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Protestant rebranding 'a challenge without Pope figure'

An German advertising agency planning to rebrand the country's Protestants says one of its problems is the lack of a strong brand figure, like the Pope.

The Protestant Church is spending $A2.4 million to improve its profile. Its new slogan will be: "Protestants ask questions."

The church is suffering from declining membership and attendance figures. It hopes the rebranding will win back believers, the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper reports.

It's employing ad agency Melle Pufe whose previous triumph was to relaunch the soft drink Afri-Cola.

Melle Pufe has earned a reputation as an agency that helps organisations with image problems, like the tobacco industry trade group.

The campaign will include billboards appearing in 100 German cities, and newspapers ads aimed at winning back the "people who are distant from the church."

The firm's creative director, Barbara Kotte, describes the church as "a problematic brand".

Although the absence of a Pope or similar powerful leader is a central feature of the Protestant church's history and identity, it is a problem in marketing terms, Ms Kotte says.

Melle Pufe