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."
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:
- 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.
- 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.