Ad Watch: Christine O’Donnell ‘Documentary’ TV Ad Struggles to Air

Nov 1, 2010 12:54pm

ABC News’ Devin Dwyer reports:   Delaware U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell appears to be having some technical difficulties getting a 24-minute documentary-style TV ad on the air before Tuesday’s vote. O’Donnell announced the premiere of her elaborately produced video on Twitter Sunday night, telling followers to tune in to local Delaware cable access channel 28 for a “look at the unconventional campaign touching Delawareans like no other.” But when the 11:30 pm time slot arrived, no O’Donnell. “Okay… this is NOT our show! Must be a programming mix up. We will get back to you…” she tweeted.  The campaign sent out a press release Monday morning heralding a second attempt to air the video at 11 am and plans to re-run it at 3pm and again on Tuesday. “Tune in for the compelling stories of your neighbors; the households, business people, and farmers who will face the brutal reality of higher taxes and dramatically increased utility bills if Chris Coons is elected,” wrote O’Donnell spokesman Doug Satchelben. “You’ll also see why Christine is surging in the polls just as Election Day approaches.”  But for a second time in as many days, O’Donnell’s ad never made it on the air as planned. “This isn't our show either! We are told channel 28 "forgot" to air it…both times… even though we paid for the time slot last week,” she tweeted. “Dirty politics again? I'd like to think the County run station really did just "forget" even though we reminded them this morning.” The piece, entitled “We the People of the First State,” opens to beauty shots of the Delaware landscape and cuts to vacant strip malls and interviews with struggling small business owners.  O’Donnell narrates, telling voters she can best empathize with their plight and showcasing similar themes to the “I'm you” ad she ran earlier in the campaign. You can view the O'Donnell campaign video here. O'Donnell is trailing Democrat Chris Coons by 10 points in the most recent poll conducted by Monmouth University. UPDATE: O'Donnell campaign spokesman Doug Sachtleben responded to the difficulties of getting the ad to air in a statement Monday, suggesting politics could be at play.  "”It’s still unclear as to why the local cable channel failed to air the half-hour long special," he wrote. "Our hope is that this is not another case of the liberal media or political dirty tricks trying to silence Christine’s message to the voters of Delaware." O'Donnell tweeted shortly thereafter that the campaign is "working on getting a location for a Premiere party tonight for the We The People of the First State video. Location TBD." It's still unclear when the video will air on TV. UPDATE 2: The ad finally aired at 3 pm Monday on Delaware channel 28, O'Donnell spokesman Doug Satchleben said in a statement.  The delay was apparently due to miscommunication between the campaign and station managers. "Delaware 28 Executive Producer Tim Qualls explained to the campaign that he was out of the area for the weekend because of a family illness, and was apparently unaware of the campaign’s transaction last Friday between a local third-party buyer and Channel 28 employees," he wrote. "Mr. Qualls is being incredibly cooperative now that he fully understands the situation, and we cannot thank him enough for helping us get Christine’s message out to the voters of Delaware. We are sincerely sorry for any misunderstanding that has transpired and that may have added stress to his family situation."

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