Crime & Courts
There’s a storm brewing between MTV and a pro-life media group supported by Sarah Palin after the music channel abruptly yanked the non-profit’s ads just a few days into the launch of a new media campaign.
Heroic Media announced its “We can Help” campaign, which was to air on MTV and BET, at an April 30 event attended by Palin.
The ads – which offer women with unexpected pregnancies useful information – began airing May 2, with plans to run for several weeks.
But MTV pulled the plug after just one airing.
MTV spokeswoman Jeannie Kedas told FoxNews.com in an email that MTV nixed the ads because of a controversial billboard campaign launched by a group with close ties to Heroic Media.
“Upon further review, it was hard for us to separate some of the recent tactics of the organization behind the ads themselves, so we have opted to not accept them for air at this time,” Kedas said.
Kedas was referring to the efforts by Life always, which in February rented a billboard in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood saying: “The most dangerous Place for an African-American is in the Womb,” drawing criticism, including and claims of racism.
Bill Eisner, president at Nonbox, a brand development agency representing Heroic Media, said the billboard wasn’t intended to be racist. It was based on the New York City Health Department’s statistics that show the high rate of African-American abortions.
“Sixty percent of African-American pregnancies end in abortion,” he said.
Eisner also said he isn't buying MTV's reason for yanking the ads. “We were told that it was a conflict with some of the promotions that were in the works with Planned Parenthood and MTV,” he said.
He said a network sales representative called and said MTV’s president, Stephen Friedman, made the decision based on that partnership.
Planned Parenthood did not respond to FoxNews.com’s request for comment.
MTV, meanwhile, denied it was pressured by Planned Parenthood to stop the Heroic Media ads. Pro-life groups are outraged with MTV’s decision.
Anti-abortion activist Lila Rose, president of Live Action, a new media pro-life organization known for producing videos investigating Planned Parenthood clinics, accused MTV of censoring information from pro-life groups.
“I think it’s a very disturbing, shocking decision for MTV to pull a commercial that is meant to provide real options for women,” she said. “MTV seems to be aligning itself with radical pro-abortion ideology."
But Brad Adgate, senior vice president for research with Horizon Media, a media planning agency, said MTV is under no obligation to run ads from both pro-choice and pro-life agencies. “It’s their choice,” Adgate said. “I don’t think they have any responsibility to any advertiser or business."
Eisner also complained that MTV didn’t even bother to tell Heroic Media that the ads had been canceled. He said the group found out only after being contacted by a reporter following up on MTV's announcement about the ads.
MTV acknowledged the group wasn’t told in advance, and said it apologized for the "unintentional cross in communication."
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