Tag Archives: advertising

Black buying $500K in TV campaign ads

U.S. Rep. Diane Black, facing a challenge in the 6th Congressional District Republican primary, is preparing to spend nearly a half million dollars on TV ads, reports The Tennessean.

Black — who is among the richest members of Congress — is prepared to spend $493,000 on three or four advertisements that will run on broadcast and cable television stations between June 29 and the August 4 primary election, according to her campaign.

Although the content of the first ad remains unknown, according to the latest documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission, Black is planning to run as many as 400 ads on various programs on WTVF, WSMV, WZTV and WUXP. Those documents show reserved ad slots already totaling $386,615.

“Diane has a strong conservative record and we will be communicating that to Middle Tennessee with an aggressive advertising campaign on radio, TV, digital and through our grassroots door-knocking campaign,” said Brad Todd, a campaign spokesman. “She has always run innovative campaigns that blend multiple media — she was one of the state’s earliest campaign adopters of digital advertising in 2010. There’s a reason she has never lost an election — she runs hard.”

Black, who has represented the 6th Congressional District since 2011, is being challenged in the Republican primary by former state Rep. Joe Carr, Tommy Hay and Donald Strong.

…Jeremy Hayes, a spokesman for Carr, said he was not surprised at the amount of money Black is spending on ads.

“Seventy percent of broadcast TV viewership is outside the 6th District and this type of inefficient spending illustrates the same spending habits she had when she voted to raise the debt limit four out of the last five years,” Hayes said.

Starrett radio ad bashes DesJarlais for bashing talk radio host

Republican congressional candidate Grant Starrett has begun airing a radio ad that says his opponent, incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, recently insulted nationally syndicated conservative talk radio host Mark Levin, reports the Times-Free Press.

The campaign’s 60-second ad began running Wednesday evening on Chattanooga’s WGOW and Nashville’s WWTN, according to Starrett’s campaign. Starrett, an attorney, is challenging three-term incumbent DesJarlais, a South Pittsburg physician, in the 4th Congressional District’s Aug. 4 Republican primary.

His ad features a recording of DesJarlais criticizing both Levin and talk show radio host and blogger Erik Erikson at what the campaign says was a Lincoln County GOP meeting earlier this month. Levin has been critical of DesJarlais in the past while Erikson, former editor-in-chief of the Red State blog, has endorsed Starrett in his challenge to the congressman.

“You listen to conservative Mark Levin every day,” says a female announcer in the spot. “Would Mark Levin betray your principles at any price? Here’s what Scott DesJarlais thinks about about Mark Levin.”

The ad switches to a recording of DesJarlais saying “there’s bought and paid for political conservatives as well, Mark Levin apparently is one, I think Erick Erikson is another, and so I think they can be sold to the highest bidder.”

The female announcer’s voice resumes, asking, “Mark Levin, bought and paid for?” The announcer later goes on to ask “Who is Scott DesJarlais to question Mark Levin’s conservative principles?”

The ad then charges DesJarlais “voted for $700 billion in Obama’s food stamps, failed to hold abortion providers accountable and voted with Obama to cut our military.

“You’ve been betrayed by Scott DesJarlais,” the announcer charges.

In a statement, DesJarlais spokesman Robert Jameson, who did not address the ad’s citing of the congressman’s criticisms of Levin, called Starrett “a 28-year old trust fund kid from California who just moved to the Fourth District and has absolutely no ties to the community. He has nothing to run on, an inability to tell the truth and establishment views that do not align with the district he just moved into.”

Note: The Starrett campaign news release, including transcript, is below. Continue reading

Grant Starrett’s first TV commercial

News release from Grant Starrett campaign
(MURFREESBORO, Tenn.) – Today, the Grant Starrett for Congress campaign announced they have released their first TV ad in the Republican primary race in the 4th Congressional District.

The ad, titled “Time to Fight”, will run district wide on cable and broadcast.

Statement from Tommy Schultz, Campaign Manager for Grant Starrett, Republican Candidate for Congress in the 4th Congressional District:

“This ad highlights the disaster of the Obama years and the grave circumstances that our country is in. When Scott DesJarlais voted against giving $38 billion to our military to restore Obama’s defense cuts, failed to hold the nation’s largest abortion provider accountable after it was caught in a scandal selling baby body parts, and voted for $700 billion in food stamps, it rang clear that DesJarlais is part of the problem. Grant believes our military should have all the resources they need to fight radical Muslims, that our government should stop funding abortionists and should stop paying people not to work with food stamps. Grant Starrett has fought for conservative causes his entire life, never willing to back down from a tough battle. Grant is just the type of person we need in Congress to fight the crisis that has gripped our nation–someone who is willing to tell the truth about DC’s problems and fight with conservative principles to fix them.”

Note: Schultz tells Nashville Post Politics that cost of the buy was in “six figures.”

ECD promoting GOP on Facebook?

More than half of the money a state agency has spent on Facebook ads targets supporters of Tennessee’s top Republican politicians, with none spent on Democrats, according to WSMV-TV. The report prompted a press release protests from state Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris, D-Memphis, and TNDP Chair Mary Mancini.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is to attract businesses to the Volunteer State, as well as to let the community know what’s going on. One of several marketing strategies involves paying for ads on Facebook.

What pops up in a user’s newsfeed may seem random, but Facebook can target users based on interests. And if you “like” certain officeholders, there’s a good chance you’ll see updates from the TDECD Facebook page.

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is a nonpartisan state agency, except they’ve paid more than $18,000 to target people who “like” Gov. Bill Haslam, Sen. Bob Corker or Sen. Lamar Alexander. Not a dime was spent on targeting fans of Democrats.

That fact troubles Bruce Oppenheimer, a political science professor at Vanderbilt University.

“I think the real question is more so, who’s not getting the information who deserves to get the information?” Oppenheimer said.
… So why would an agency that’s interested in developing businesses and creating jobs not cast a wide net to garner fans of all political parties? The I-Team sat down with TDECD Commissioner Randy Boyd.

“Should politics be involved in a department that’s supposed to be apolitical?” asked reporter Alanna Autler.

“Politics is a pretty broad word,” Boyd said. “We have to work with the legislature and the legislature is always creating new legislation affecting things we do, and they are political. So in that sense, the politics of new laws and legislation do affect what our development and any department does.”
… Many of the ads pushed for more Facebook likes. Others were more specific, such as a post around Valentine’s Day 2014 that targeted users who like “Bill Haslam or chocolate.” But of all the metrics the department used, none mentioned Democrats.

“I think the blatancy of this may be a little different. Probably the thought is, no one is really going to find out about this sort of targeting,” Oppenheimer said. The professor said the strategy also resembles microtargeting, a tactic used during political campaigns to reach voters.

“It looks like something a campaign or somebody who’s thinking of running for office [would do],” Oppenheimer said. “It’s an attempt to get your message out and manage what you’re doing and who you are.”

Political watchers say there’s talk in Republican spheres about Commissioner Boyd running for governor.

Note: The Harris commentary is below. Continue reading

Following ‘sexist’ flap, Haslam erases ‘governor’ from agency title

Gov. Bill Haslam has changed the name of the Governor’s Highway Safety Office, which got a fair amount of negative publicity last year, to the Tennessee Highway Safety Office through an executive order. The order also transfers oversight of the agency from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Homeland Security.

Executive Order No. 3, signed March 29 and effective April 1, is HERE.

Further from a Tennessean report on the move that gives some of the recent history of the former Governors Highway Safety Office:

The highway safety office generated controversy last year after launching a campaign that featured what some called a sexist approach to encouraging young men not to drive under the influence. The campaign used coasters and fliers with slogans designed to reach the “young male demographic,” the agency’s director Kendell Poole told The Tennessean at the time.

One version of drink coasters said, “Buy a drink for a marginally good-looking girl, only to find out she’s chatty, clingy and your boss’s daughter.”

A flier read, “After a few drinks the girls look hotter and the music sounds better. Just remember: If your judgement is impaired, so is your driving.”

Another aspect of the campaign mimicked graffiti found on the inside of a bathroom stall using a section of the highway safety office’s website.

The “Legends of the Stall” portion of the website featured behaviors such as binge drinking, promiscuity and cleaning up vomit with a cat. The website became inactive after The Tennessean initially reported about the campaign last July.

Ad campaign opposes bill on therapists and religion

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A coalition of groups has launched an ad campaign against House Speaker Beth Harwell and other lawmakers over a controversial bill that would allow counselors to refuse to treat patients on the basis of “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

One of the online ads addresses Harwell and warns that “businesses won’t come to a state that discriminates.”

Opponents say the proposal (SB1556) would allow therapists to turn away people in crisis because they are gay, transgender or practice a different religion.

The American Counseling Association, which is part of the coalition taking aim at the measure, has called the bill an unprecedented attack on its profession.

“People are looking to counselors as health care providers and the government shouldn’t step in between a health care provider and a patient. It’s just wrong,” said Art Terrazas, director of government affairs for the American counseling associations.

Republican Sen. Jack Johnson of Franklin, who sponsored the bill, has said that the legislation is an effort to overturn a 2014 change in the American Counseling Association’s code of ethics.

The proposal passed in the Senate last month. After it passed, an attorney for the gay rights group Lambda Legal said that while proposals targeting counseling rules have come in other states, Tennessee may be the first to have it pass in a legislative chamber.

This is the second time in a month that an ad campaign has targeted Speaker Harwell. A group that supports Gov. Bill Haslam’s failed effort to expand the state’s Medicaid program launched a statewide billboard campaign against Harwell earlier this month.

Gov claims success in latest tourism ad campaign

News release from Department of Tourist Development
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Governor Bill Haslam and Commissioner Kevin Triplett, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, today announced the powerful results of a return on investment study, the first since launching the “Soundtrack of America, Made in Tennessee” brand campaign, during a special event at Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association’s Day on the Hill.

The new brand campaign was launched approximately 18 months ago. Research conducted from a third party, Strategic Marketing and Research Insights, indicates an 18-to-1 ROI. This shows Tennessee is collecting 18 tax dollars for every 1 dollar spent on advertising for the new campaign. The national benchmark used by SMARI for tax revenue collected is 9 tax dollars for every 1 dollar.

“This is great news, not only for our tourism industry but for all Tennesseans,” Haslam said. “An 18-to-1 return on investment is pretty impressive no matter what kind of business you’re in, but when you consider that the national average is only half that, it has an even bigger impact. We are blessed in Tennessee to have an abundance of incredible attractions – our music, our history, our beautiful landscapes and family destinations, and I want to thank our tourism and hospitality industry for their hard work to attract so many people and so much investment from around the world to Tennessee.”
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Cruz, friendly PACs have big lead on TN TV

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and his political action committee supporters have spent more than $1 million in television advertising in Tennessee as a prelude to Tuesday’s presidential primary, some of it devoted to attacking Donald Trump, a review indicates.

The television ad total for Cruz and two supportive Super PACs substantially surpasses the apparent total of about $700,000 for all other Tennessee TV ad spending in support of presidential candidates combined, based on a review of filings by TV stations with the Federal Communications Commission as of Sunday, national media reports and other sources.

Here is a breakdown of the estimated TV ad spending in Tennessee:
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A sampler of presidential campaign ads in TN

Following is a sampler of presidential campaign advertising commercials that are running in Tennessee prior to the Super Tuesday primary or — in some cases — ads that may be running.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign (with no ad competition from Bernie Sanders within the state) has openly promoted its commercials and, on the Republican side, Marco Rubio’s campaign has ballyhooed its TV ad on Gov. Bill Haslam’s endorsement – previously appearing on this blog (HERE).

A Rubio spokesman refused to identify any other Rubio campaign ads running in the state, even though yours truly watched one (included below) that is otherwise publicly available. Other Republican campaigns and their supporting Super PACs declined to even respond to inquiries asking for their ads running in Tennessee. These folks think, perhaps accurately, that there are strategic reasons for not letting the opposition know exactly which ads are running where – even though the ads are in many cases posted on Youtube or elsewhere on the Internet. Still, one who watches a bit of TV and talks with other political junkies doing so around the state can make, I think, a pretty good guess on ads that are afoot. Here’s the sampler:

From Keep the Promise, a SuperPAC supporting Cruz. It’s running in TN.



From the Rubio campaign, running in TN.



From Conservative Solutions, a SuperPAC supporting Rubio, running in TN.



From the Trump campaign (similar, but not exactly same, as one certainly running in TN but not found in an Internet search).



From the Cruz campaign, I can’t confirm as running in Tennessee – one viewer says she saw something like this — but much promoted on the Internet



From Hillary Clinton, running in TN (another Clinton ad was previously posted HERE)

From Stand for Truth, another Cruz-supporting SuperPAC, and verified as running in the state