Last month, I reported on a campaign targeting Capitol Hill staffers, CNN employees, and staff members of other media companies on Facebook. An immigration advocacy group called America's Voices aimed to vilify CNN host Lou Dobbs. People listed on Facebook as employees of media firms including CNN, The New York Times, Politico, and AOL were served ads featuring images of the CNN anchor accompanied by text like, "Hey, Anderson Cooper, What's it like to work with a racist at CNN? Time to drop Dobbs."
Sounds like a publicity stunt? Sure. Part of the goal was to spawn earned media coverage of the campaign. The organization, however, also aimed to raise money for anti-Dobbs TV spots. They wanted - in partnership with progressive media watchdog Media Matters for America -- to run an ad implying that Dobbs is an anti-immigrant hatemonger during the network's upcoming "Latino in America" special.
"All of the advertising so far has been digital and whatever we raise will go to traditional media," Jackie Mahendra, director of online communications for America's Voices, told me last month.
Yesterday, the group announced it had raised "nearly $16,000" towards that goal, and would run the ads during the series. Now, America's Voices - and HuffingtonPost - report that CNN has refused to run the ad. According to HuffPo, CNN stated, "Contrary to reports, CNN has not accepted these spots and they will not air on the network."
An America's Voice press release from yesterday says they play to run the ad "on a competing network in the next week."
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
March 19, 2014