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NRA Sues Ad Agency Behind 'Cold, Dead Hands' Campaign

Gun group accuses longtime ad firm Ackerman McQueen over billing transparency
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 16, 2019 10:42 AM CDT
NRA Sues Ad Agency Behind 'Cold, Dead Hands' Campaign
Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the NRA, speaks at CPAC in March.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The National Rifle Association has sued its longtime advertising agency, accusing the company that has helped shape its Second Amendment advocacy of withholding crucial financial details in billing documents. The lawsuit filed Friday in Alexandria, Virginia, says Oklahoma City-based Ackerman McQueen is contractually bound to show backing paperwork on its bills to the NRA, the AP reports. But the NRA says the firm has only partly complied or "baldly ignored" requests for more information. "The NRA's patience has run out," says the lawsuit. The suit points out that Ackerman McQueen helped craft some of the NRA's biggest messaging, including the late Charlton Heston's slogan about having to pry his guns "from my cold, dead hands."

Ackerman McQueen said in a statement Monday that an NRA forensic auditing firm received every piece of information it requested during a three-week review. "This flagrant misrepresentation, along with other false claims, serve as the foundation of malicious intent exemplified by this lawsuit," the statement says. Ackerman McQueen runs NRATV, which livestreams gun rights commentary and advocacy for the NRA. The company has worked with the NRA since the 1980s. The lawsuit says that in 2017, the NRA paid the agency and a subsidiary more than $40 million. The filing also says the ad agency refused to give information about a separate contract it had with NRA President and retired Lt. Col. Oliver North, the Marine at the center of the Iran-Contra affair three decades ago.

(Read more NRA stories.)

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