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Gas Station TV Says Obama Camp ‘100% Inaccurate’

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A very interesting article in Ad Age…..

Obama Campaign Accuses Network of Covering for Big Oil

Gas Station TV’s decision not to run political ads on its network of filling-station screens may have spared consumers additional pain at the pump, but it didn’t make the network any friends with Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign, which bizarrely accused GSTV of covering up for the oil industry and siding with Sen. John McCain.

The Obama campaign yesterday morning sent out a release falsely claiming that one of the candidate’s energy-policy ads, “Priorities,” would run on GSTV. But it wasn’t long before GSTV CEO David Leider tried to set the record straight, insisting that the company never received an insertion order and had decided not to accept political advertising of any nature, in keeping with company policy not to run “polarizing” material.

Skirting controversy
GSTV’s editorial policy states that it “will never promote a particular view on controversial matters of public policy or political or industrial controversy.” The network, which runs news content from CBS News, also refrains from showing stories involving murder or guns. “It’s a G-rated network,” said Mr. Leider.

That didn’t sit well with the Obama campaign, which fired off a hard-hitting statement attacking GSTV.

In it, the Obama campaign’s communications director in Florida, Mark Bubriski, had this to say: “Once again, the oil companies and their friends are standing with Senator McCain, the candidate for president who is proposing to offer them a $4 billion tax cut. It looks like Gas Station TV doesn’t want the American people to know about Senator Obama’s plan to offer working families a $1,000 energy rebate that would be funded by a tax on oil company profits. The oil companies have taken sides in this race, and they are standing with John McCain.” The ads were to have run in Florida.

The campaign also claimed to have e-mails — between representatives of ABC National Sales, Obama ad agency GMMB and GSTV — proving that GSTV initially signed off on the ad. According to an e-mail from a Dee Parker at ABC National Sales, “GSTV owners have signed off on this” and that it has “approved the spot.”

Ms. Parker referred inquiries to the Obama campaign and GSTV. GMMB did the same.

E-mail forensics
According to GSTV, “The e-mail chain provided by the Obama campaign is 100% inaccurate. GSTV never viewed or approved the spot to air nor did GSTV receive an insertion order or payment for a media buy.”

Indeed, in the one e-mail from GSTV provided by the Obama camp, someone identified as Jeff Hupp writes that he could have the ad turned around in an hour after receiving an insertion order, but that he had yet to receive such an order. According to GSTV, Mr. Hupp is a VP-business operations. A spokeswoman for GSTV said it doesn’t have a direct relationship with ABC National Sales, but does partner with ESPN for content.

In a lengthy formal statement, GSTV went on to say that the “campaigns that contacted Gas Station TV did not receive approval to move forward with a media buy on our network. Gas Station TV must approve any ads running on the network and no political ads were sent to Gas Station TV for review and approval. … No invoices indicating approval from Gas Station TV to run a political ad were developed and at no time were related financial transactions completed with Gas Station TV and its partners.”

The company also made it clear it wasn’t taking Mr. McCain’s side, saying it wouldn’t take political ads “regardless of content or political party affiliation.”

Now if you found this interesting, run over to Marc Ambinder’s blog at The Atlantic, and see what Barack Obama’s campaign paid $5 million for……

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Written by Ridgeliner7

Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 9:00:35 AM

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