Is advertising AA publicly OK?
What was the justification and reason behind AA's approval of a TV ad? Is it a violation of The Traditions?
We don't know of the ad you are referring to so this is purely philosophical and can't speak to the content of an ad.
Please keep in mind that an ad can be placed by any strata of AA. From the groups at the top down through intergroups, districts, areas, national GSOs, on down to AA World Service. Each of these offices could have a different interpretation of Tradition.
To venture a guess it would seem likely that you are moved to your question because you know that our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion. Given the tendency toward extremes among our fellows it isn't hard to see why so many assume AA forbids any type of promotion or advertisement. But long ago it was realized we would always have to make some effort to let people know we exist. A group is useless to the newcomer if the newcomer can't find it. So a group might post a meeting list on a bulletin board. A district may print up pamphlets to leave in physician waiting rooms or jails. Not to say we are great or can solve any drinking problem but simply to inform others that we exist and have helped some people.
A TV ad might be seen as a pamphlet for the modern age - only now it is video. A brief TV ad can be the modern equal of the "Hey, AA exists in your town" poster. The difference can be just a matter of medium and scale.
(This assumes the content of the ad isn't a 30 minute "full length" infomercial on how AA can bring you spiritual enlightenment in 12 easy steps! -That
would certainly be
"promotion." Simply saying we are here and we are an option for some is not seen as "promotion" by many within the fellowship.)
We should strive for "attraction" but attraction alone will not work - that is why our public relations policy is based
on attraction rather than promotion. Nothing in The Traditions forbids