Once-Aired Ad With Anti-Romney Widower Shows Earned Media Power

With all the attention that controversial ad of a widower attacking Mitt Romney has received, it actually didn’t appear on television until yesterday.

And that was only “because of a station error,” according to ad’s sponsor, Priorities USA Action, a super-PAC backing President Obama.

The spot appeared at 9:37 am eastern time yesterday on the ABC affiliate in Cleveland, Ohio, according to New York-based Kantar Media’s CMAG, which tracks advertising. It hasn’t aired again.

It was viewed more than 773,000 times on YouTube since Priorities USA Action unveiled it on Aug. 7. And yesterday’s “station error” meant the ad got more media attention.



Priorities USA Action, run by former Obama White House aides, has focused its advertising efforts on Bain Capital, LLC, the private-equity firm Romney founded. The super-PAC has raised much less than major Republican super-PACs, though the group has been adept at its “earned media” strategy of attracting significant news coverage at little cost.

The ad features a former steel plant worker, Joe Soptic, talking about how his family lost health insurance, and his wife died, after Bain closed the plant where Soptic was employed.

“I do not think Mitt Romney realizes what he has done to anyone. And furthermore, I do not think Mitt Romney is concerned,” Soptic says in the ad.

Republicans have denounced the ad, saying it unfairly links Romney to the death of Soptic’s wife. Fact-checking organizations say the ad makes misleading claims.

Political Capital will let you know if the ad runs again on television.

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