Stations wary of Bennett ads

Having attacked the producers of daytime talk, former Education Secretary William Bennett, backed by Democratic Sens. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Sam Nunn of Georgia, took aim at their advertisers.

Bennett’s Empower America advocacy group unveiled its highly anticipated campaign at a press briefing here Dec. 7).

The spots themselves did not target specific shows, but the programs were named in materials distributed at the press conference.

But the spots may have a hard time getting seen. TV stations in Los Angeles have rejected the ad, and only one in New York has agreed to air the spot.

Some stations said they had policies against advocacy advertising, while others said the spots criticizing specific sponsors were too controversial.

At the news conference, Bennett read a letter from Mars Inc., in which the maker of the Three Musketeers candy bar said it was already dropping ads from controversial shows.

David Braun, vice president for the Kraft Foods division of Philip Morris, said the company has dropped ads from seven talk shows and tries to monitor the content of others on which it advertises.

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