abc refuses to run ad questioning energy company ad expenditures

After last night’s Presidential debate, ABC ran an ad by the oil company Chevron. At the same time, however, ABC refused to run a paid ad entitled “Repower America” by Al Gore’s organization We Can Solve It. ABC’s problem with the ad may have something to do with the message of the ad, which, according to Cathy Zoi, the CEO of We Can Solve It, is that “massive spending by oil and coal companies on advertising is a key reason our nation hasn’t switched to clean and renewable sources for our energy.” Here’s the script of the ad:

The solution to our climate crisis seems simple.
Repower America with wind and solar.
End our dependence on foreign oil. A stronger economy.
So why are we still stuck with dirty and expensive energy?
Because big oil spends hundreds of millions of dollars to block clean energy.
Lobbyists, ads, even scandals.
All to increase their profits, while America suffers.
Breaking big oil’s lock on our government …
Now that’s change.
We’re the American people and we approve this message.

Zoi is asking that people view the ad, and, if they agree, send a letter to ABC, asking that they air the ad during “20/20”. The hope is to have 100,000 letters by the end of the week.

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  1. Posted October 9, 2008 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Nothing new here. For years broadcasters have routinely rejected ads for things like “TV Turnoff Week” (I recall an effort to air a 60-second ad consisting of “snow”), “Buy Nothing Day”, etc. Sometimes they say that they think the ad will offend advertisers or will offend viewers, and sometimes they just say “no” with no reason at all.

  2. not one of the cool kids
    Posted October 9, 2008 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    This is so typical. Just like how the big three network news broadcasts are so flooded with prescription drug adds. Those advertising dollars are why we never see any in depth stories about drug companies and the doctors that push pills instead of promoting prevention or funding and finding cures.

    Also, in this age of emails I think the general public’s complaints are being dismissed more than ever. At least when people actually wrote a letter on paper and sent it via the mail someone in the mail room had to actually pick up that letters, sort the letters, deliver them to the right person, that person has to tear them open, read them and decide what to do with the physical letter and what is written inside the letter. With all that labor going into 1,000’s of mailed letters someone in the company will notice. With emails I think many companies just have a fluckie reading them and then just deleting them.
    The voice of the people is getting lost in cyber space. So, sure email them, but I think the calling them or mailing a letter is better in the long run.

  3. mark
    Posted October 9, 2008 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have snail mail addresses, but I was able to find emails for the two people responsible for selling ads on ABC.

    West Coast Region
    James Smith
    Vice President, Advertising Sales

    East Coast Region
    Maryann Zuarino
    Director, Advertising Sales

  4. Robert
    Posted October 10, 2008 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    It’s that Liberal media bias.

  5. Robert
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    ABC has been deteriorating into something just this side of Fox for a few years now. They’re targeting that same, rapidly growing sociopath demographic.

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