Saturday, October 28, 2006

Dixie Chicks Film Publicity Stunt

We recently reported on how the NBC network rejected ads promoting the new Dixie Chicks film.

It turns out the “rejection” was part of a publicity stunt arranged by the film’s producer.

From USA Today:
NEW YORK — The Dixie Chicks are again at the center of a controversy over the limits of opinionated talk. A film company said Friday that NBC wouldn’t accept an advertisement for Shut Up & Sing, a movie about the fuss created by Dixie Chick Natalie Maines’ comment that she was ashamed President Bush was a fellow Texan. The network suggested the complaint may be a publicity stunt.

The problem arose when the Weinstein Co. began conversations with networks about buying ads to be shown nationally, in anticipation of later wider release of the film.

But Alan Wurtzel, head of standards and practices at NBC, said it is network policy not to accept ads on issues of public controversy — like abortion or the war.

While the Weinstein Co. had shown NBC its ads, it had not inquired about buying commercial time, he said. Generally, when an ad is rejected, prospective advertisers return and work with the network on ways to make it acceptable — as was done with the Michael Moore film Fahrenheit 9/11, he said.

But NBC heard nothing more from makers of Shut Up & Sing until portions of what NBC executives thought were confidential business correspondence showed up in a news release, he said.

“There was no attempt to come back and have a conversation,” Wurtzel said. “There are times when some advertisers get more publicity for having their ad rejected.”
It seems that attempts to exploit claims of victimization are not limited to the Chicks. Their producer is doing the same thing.

And maybe some very naïve people will believe them.


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