SBD/July 27, 2012/Olympics

IOC Requests Pro-Obama Group Pull Spot With Olympic Footage

An ad from the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA “has been pulled off YouTube at the request of the International Olympic Committee on copyright violation grounds, and the group has voluntarily taken the ad offline and will not be running it on television,” according to Rachel Weiner of the WASHINGTON POST. The ad used footage of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney from the ‘02 Salt Lake City Games’ Opening Ceremony “to suggest that the former Massachusetts governor loves sending jobs and money to other countries.” Romney was President & CEO of the organizing committee for the '02 Games. The USOC is “asking that Games footage not be used in any political ads.” The pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future “has been planning an ad campaign during the Games that might have also used footage from Olympic events” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 7/26). YAHOO SPORTS’ Dan Wetzel noted Priorities USA had “planned to run the ad in four battleground states.” Showing footage from an Opening Ceremony, a narrator in the spot said, "Welcome to the Olympics. There's Mitt Romney, who ran the Salt Lake City Games, waving to … China -- home to a billion people. Thousands owe their jobs to Mitt Romney's companies. India, which also gained jobs thanks to Romney, an outsourcing pioneer. And Burma, where Romney had the uniforms made for the 2002 games” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/26). 

UPBEAT PLEA MAY BE IGNORED: AD AGE’s Elizabeth Wilner noted NBC Sports execs “urged presidential hopefuls to stay upbeat during the Summer Olympics, arguing that Americans don't want to see grainy footage and grim statistics bracketing medal ceremonies.” But the idea that an “air war that has been totally negative for weeks would suddenly break out in harp music is fantasy.” Wilner: “We may see some of the most memorable ads of 2012 during the games, but they won't all be positive” (ADAGE.com, 7/26).
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