Mac Attack Ad's Endless Media Coverage? Priceless

Spot airs everywhere, despite small spend
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2008 8:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – John McCain's tough TV spot, which attacks Barack Obama for backing out of a visit to US troops in Germany because he couldn't bring TV cameras along, has become one of the most widely seen ads of the campaign. That's pretty impressive, considering it only aired as a paid commercial about a dozen times. The negative ad is a PR coup for McCain, writes the New York Times, now that it's been featured endlessly—and for free—on TV news.

Roundly castigated as being misleading or worse, the 30-second spot has been replayed dozens of times on cable news and has circulated widely on news websites. The Times notes that there is no evidence Obama ever planned to bring TV cameras on the visit, and the spot, which says, “He made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops,” shows images of Obama playing basketball, without noting that he was playing with troops in Kuwait.