The Harper Conservatives' plan to run anti-Liberal attack ads on mini-television screens at gas pumps in Southern Ontario is backfiring because the company that was to place them is refusing.But, but, but, but...binding contract...must honour...doh! Fuelcast, the company that the Conservatives "contracted with" to run the ads is now saying it "reserves the right to not play an ad with a political message." The Conservative braintrust must have missed the appropriate clause. These outlets are likely highly aware of the fine line they walk with their tv screens being positioned in such an intrusive spot in the first place.
The 15-second ads, featuring an animated blob of grease criticizing a yet-to-be released plan by the Dion Liberals to put a tax on carbon, were to begin running Tuesday until July 7.
Conservative Party spokesman Ryan Sparrow said the company, the Fuelcast Network, refused to take the ads Monday morning.
The Tories had been trying to get in touch with the company for an explanation, said Mr. Sparrow, who was going around Ottawa Monday showing reporters the party's contract with the company, signed on June 5.
The contract clearly identifies the client as the “Conservative Party.”
“We have a binding contract,” Mr. Sparrow said. “The Conservative Party and we fully expect them to honour the contract.”
Also interesting, the gas companies running away from any association whatsoever with this claptrap:
A Petro-Canada official contacted Liberal environment critic David McGuinty early Monday morning after seeing his comments condemning the campaign in which he wondered what gas outlet would risk running such partisan ads.Now that's a gas station I can get behind...:)
Mr. McGuinty said that the Petro-Canada official wanted to “assure” him that his company does not have monitors at its pumps and will not participate in the ad campaign.
Was this entire campaign all a ruse to distract from Bernier and Cadman and Elections Canada, and so on, and so on, and so on, as the "Conservative official" quoted in Taber's piece suggests? If that were true (and Sparrow's waving around of the contract like a chicken with his head cut off just might have that air to it), then we're dealing with a whole other level of behaviour here...
(h/t Stormy Days of March, Far and Wide)