Monday, December 10, 2007
Freedom's Watch Ads: Ongoing Saga
Thankfully AFSis sent out an email this weekend detailing what happened with Freedom's Watch and NBC...until her email I was blissfully unaware.
"...NBC has nixed holiday advertisements meant to thank troops for serving overseas in opposition to the inclusion of a non-profit's Web address.
The ads, paid for by the non-profit Freedom's Watch, are a simple thank you, the group says, with people shown paying gratitude to members of the military and the final frame showing the group's Web address, www.freedomswatch.org.
NBC is refusing to air the ads as long as the address is included, according to an e-mail exchange between NBC and the group, which Freedom's Watch provided to FOX News.
"Per my previous email, the www.freedomswatch.org website will have to be redacted from the commercials for approval. This comes from Alan Wurtzel and Rick Cotton," according to one of the notes. Wurtzel is president of research at NBC. Rick Cotton is general counsel for NBC Universal.
Speaking with FOX on Friday, Wurtzel said NBC has no problem with the content of the ad, specifically the well-wishes to troops. However, he said, the link to the website violates their policy on controversial issue advertising because it encourages political action and other activities. He said the policy is applied consistently across the board and this group was not targeted in any way.
Freedom's Watch President and CEO Bradley Blakeman told FOX on Friday that this is not the first time NBC has turned down his group's ads and believes it has a specific objection to his group's support for the War on Terror. NBC also objected to using images including military uniforms and vehicles and asked for proof of government approval for the group's use of the images in its ads..."
Contained in this post are the ads that apparently "violate NBC's policy on controversial issue advertising because they encourages political action and other activities":
Newsbusters then reported that the lawyer that blocked the ads is a heavy contributor to the Democratic Party.
Newsbusters has also updated their site to reflect NBC's decision to air the Thank yous. The drive-by media is nonplussed by the decision:
"...the Associated Press which in its article concerning this u-turn chose to depict Freedom's Watch as "a group backed by wealthy Republican fundraisers" that is "critical of liberals..."