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Rolling Stone changes course on Bible ad

Cathy Lynn Grossman USA Today

The bible of rock ‘n’ roll, Rolling Stone magazine, will run an ad for a new version of the Holy Bible next month – the same ad it rejected two weeks ago for its “spiritual message.”

The nation’s largest Bible publisher, Zondervan, is launching a $1 million marketing campaign for the new translation of Scripture, “Today’s New International Version (TNIV),” which is designed to be accessible to modern readers.

Zondervan had inquired about rates for the Rolling Stone ad in March and booked the space in July for it to run in February. But the magazine then turned down the ad, saying it had a policy against advertising with religious messages.

“We have addressed the internal miscommunications that led to the previous misstatement of company policy and apologize for any confusion it may have caused,” said a spokeswoman for Wenner Media, Rolling Stone’s parent company.

“We believe that the Bible is relevant for Rolling Stone readers,” said Paul Caminiti, Zondervan’s president of Bible publishing. “We’ve always believed they were a cornerstone in our campaign to squarely market to spiritually intrigued 18- to 34-year-old young people, many of whom live outside the embrace of the church.”

Other media outlets that will carry “TNIV” advertising include Modern Bride, the satirical weekly The Onion and MTV.com.

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