SALT LAKE CITY — After two weeks of negotiations, cable TV giant Comcast has agreed to air a revised version of a commercial made by a long-time critic of the LDS Church.
LGBT activist Fred Karger held a news conference on Jan. 10 to reveal the original ad. He said the ad was the start of a campaign to challenge the tax-exempt status of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Karger has spent $30,000 of his own money to launch the campaign with his group, Rights Equal Rights. He paid Comcast $2,000 to air the original 30-second commercial in five Utah markets for a week. In the ad, Karger asks viewers to provide "any evidence of Mormon church tax fraud, and we will then file a complaint against them with the IRS."
Karger said at the news conference that he did not have any evidence of tax fraud. After Karger's news conference, Comcast announced it would not air the commercial because it made unsubstantiated claims about the church.
Karger met with a Comcast executive Saturday, according to Philly.com. He agreed to modify the commercial.
In a statement provided to the Deseret News on Thursday morning, Comcast Spotlight, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, said the company asked Karger to substantiate five claims made in the commercial.
"At that time, the client was unwilling to provide substantiation for the claims so the ad was not approved," the statement said. "Last week, the client provided the requested substantiation for four of the five claims. For the one unsubstantiated claim, they agreed to modify the statement/visual. We are waiting for them to send us a revised 30-second ad to review."