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Makers of LDS movie say 'Book of Mormon' canned their ad

Published June 6, 2014 8:20 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

What do the Utah-made movie "The Saratov Approach" and the Tony-winning musical "The Book of Mormon" have in common?

They both tell the story of LDS missionaries facing obstacles out in the field. But while "The Book of Mormon" is a profane comedy musical, "The Saratov Approach" is a fact-based drama about missionaries kidnapped in Russia.

The makers of "The Saratov Approach" aimed to highlight that difference by buying ads in the playbill at theaters where "The Book of Mormon" is on tour. But, according to them, the producers of the musical said no.

"Everything was going fine with the playbill ad buys for 'The Saratov Approach.' Many theaters have accepted our ads," Spencer Harden, a film acquisition and development manager for the film's distributor, Cedar Ford Publishing and Media, said in a statement.

Then, Harden said, a marketing executive for Broadway in Detroit sent an email saying that the ad had been rejected during "The Book of Mormon's" run in the Motor City, which starts July 1.

The decision, Harden said, was made by the play's producers. Harden claims to have an email from the Broadway in Detroit executive, which reads "[w]e would love to have you in there, but it is their show and they have the final word."

Officials for Broadway in Detroit did not respond to a request for comment. The Cricket received a "no comment" from Broadway Across America-Utah, which is bringing "The Book of Mormon" to Salt Lake City in the summer of 2015.