Another Adventure in Advertising: The Pepperdine Graphic

Kevin MacDonald


Our ad company submitted an ad to the student newspaper at Pepperdine University, the Graphic, and, lo and behold, it was approved and published. Now that in itself is a major accomplishment, although I can’t say that I noticed an uptick in subscriptions for TOQ or traffic to TOO. But it was nice to see that it was actually published.

But then it turns out that it was only published because of an oversight — an accident if you will. The head of the Advertising Department, Falon Opsahl, didn’t perform due diligence on the content: “Accidents are not excuses.”

My stomach churned as I scrolled through headline after headline bashing Jews, Blacks and immigrants. The only exceptions were articles that were too busy praising Anglo-Saxon superiority. I felt sick. …

The senior leaders and I made a serious mistake. We don’t advertise anything that propagates racism, sexism or dehumanization. We regret that we failed our own standards.

Pepperdine Graphic Media is a place of representation, where we strive to make all students voices heard and valued, such as in the Race, Faith and Sex special editions.

We must all remember that racism — virulent, active racism — is alive and well. It is heartbreaking and life-destroying. The Graphic staff and I are deeply apologetic and we have learned from our mistake.

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