Friday, December 7, 2007

NBC Spikes Ads Thanking Troops: URL at End too "Controversial"


about 24 hours after I posted this, NBC changed its corporate mind.

Now NBC says:
""We have reviewed and changed our ad standards guidelines and made the decision that our policy will apply to content only and not to a referenced Web site. Based on these amended standards the Freedom's Watch ad will begin to run as early as Sunday."
Following: Friday's post
NBC won't show two ads thanking American troops, because of a controversial URL that's at the end of each. The ads are part of a publicity campaign by Freedom's Watch, a conservative group. Freedom's Watch mission statement begins,

"Freedom’s Watch was formed to promote the common good and general welfare of the American people by supporting mainstream conservative public policies. We engage in grassroots lobbying, education and information campaigns, and issue advocacy to further our goals and objectives. We also seek to create coalitions and collaborate with like-minded groups and individuals to further our common goals. Freedom’s Watch provides a credible conservative voice and strong leadership on pressing domestic and international issues to keep America strong, safe, and prosperous."

Having spent so much of my life in colleges and universities, I understand how controversial the idea of trying to "keep America strong, safe, and prosperous" is.

I can certainly understand why NBC might want to steer clear of a commercial referring to the Freedom's Watch website. As the "Star Tribune" of Minneapolis and St. Paul put it, "NBC has rejected an advertisement that asks viewers to remember and thank U.S. troops during the holiday season because it refers to the sponsor's Web site, which the network said was too political."

Fair enough.

Providing that NBC does not think that "controversial" and "conservative" mean the same thing.

I don't watch enough of the old alphabet-soup alphabet soup networks to know how many advertisements NBC airs for the Sierra Club, MoveOn, PAC for a Change, and other organizations that are trying to make a difference.

I suspect that the three I mentioned aren't "controversial" by NBC's standards, but I could be wrong.

Freedom's Watch has a well-defined opinion as to why NBC rejected their ads, and discusses it on their home page.

You won't see these controversial ads on NBC, but they're available on YouTube - Controversial ad, thanking American troops, and another 'thank you,' with even more American military uniforms: and a Boy Scout!

Two parting thoughts:
  1. I love the Internet! Without this relatively unfiltered information channel, we'd most likely never have heard of NBC's rejection of Freedom's Watch advertising. Or, for that matter, of Freedom's Watch.
  2. Keeping track of NBC advertising, watching for for 'non-controversial' ads. It's not a project I'm going to take on, but I'd appreciate knowing if or when someone does an objective study.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.