Documents 8A: "Iowa ERA, General Election, Erma Bombeck," Iowa ERA Coalition, Radio Advertisements, 1980. Folder: Advertising -- Ad Services, 1979-1980, Box 6, Iowa ERA Coalition Collection, Iowa Women's Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.
This radio advertisement and the two that follow (see Document 8B and Document 8C) were paid for by the Iowa ERA Coalition in 1980 and were created by M.R. Enterprises, a public relations firm hired by the Coalition. The first two ads were voiced by Erma Bombeck, a syndicated humor columnist who satirized the role of women and mothers. Bombeck, mother of three addressed the concerns of housewives and mothers from World War Two until her death in 1996. Bombeck came to Iowa in 1980 to speak in favor of the ERA at Coalition fundraisers. She lent her celebrity to the campaign as well as the respect she acquired among housewives. The third radio advertisement (see Document 8C) equates equality with patriotism. By using the pledge of allegiance the Coalition linked the ERA to the principles of equality represented by the American flag.
Advertising & Public Relations
3001 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50312
Client: Iowa E.R.A.
Start:October 1, 1980
Stop:November 4, 1980
Commercial No:ERA 80-924A
“I’m Erma Bombeck. . . Iowans know me for my laughter. Some Iowans in Waterloo, Des Moines, and Council Bluffs saw a different Erma last summer when I visited your state on behalf of the Equal Rights Amendment. The state ERA will not get you an abortion, raise your taxes, or even make your teeth brighter. It simply guarantees that men and women share equally under the law. Iowa has always been a state of quality. On November 4, make it a state of “E”quality by voting yes for the ERA.”
Paid for by Iowa Equal Rights Amendment Coalition,
Peg Anderson, Chairperson