Anti-Bush Ad Contest Submits Super Bowl Commercial

CBS Spokesman Doubts Spot Will Pass Standards Review

By Ira Teinowitz

WASHINGTON ( — Liberal activist group last night announced it has chosen an anti-President Bush ad to air ahead of next week’s “State of the Union” address and said today it is negotiating with CBS to gain airtime on the Super Bowl.

A spokesman for CBS said the Viacom-owned network has received the request from MoveOn to run the ad in the Super Bowl, but added that the ad has to go through standards and practices before CBS will say if it can run an advocacy ad during the game. The spokesman said he didn’t think it was likely that the spot would pass standards and practices.

Filmmaker works for ad agency

The winning ad, called “Child’s Pay,” was developed by Denver resident Charlie Fisher, who works for an unnamed U.S. ad agency on assignment in Denmark. The ad was developed after MoveOn created a competition aimed at finding a filmmaker who can articulate everything that’s wrong with the Bush administration in a 30-second spot. 

Mr. Fisher’s spot shows young children working in a variety of manufacturing or service industry jobs — hauling garbage, repairing tires, clerking a checkout counter — and ends with the line “Guess who’s going to pay off President Bush’s $1 trillion deficit?”

A MoveOn spokesman said the ad, which was chosen from a number of entries, will have an initial national run starting with a $300,000 CNN buy that breaks Jan. 17 and runs through Jan. 21; a 60-second ad will incorporate not only the winning spot ad but a description of the contest and mention of some of the other entries. President Bush’s State of the Union speech is Jan. 20. 

Hitler ad 

The contest, was announced in October and received more than 1,500 submissions, some of which were posted on MoveOn’s Web site ( The contest garnered a certain amount of notoriety after the Republican National Committee expressed outrage that three submissions pictured on the group’s Web site compared President Bush to Adolph Hitler. 

Early this month the group apologized for allowing the Hitler ads to slip through, but accused the RNC of being “deliberately and maliciously misleading” in suggesting that the ads were anything other than contest submissions. 

MoveOn, which includes a politcal action committee and a voter fund (which handled the contest), said a panel of celebrities and political consultants judged the submissions. Panelists included political strategists Donna Brazile and James Carville.

‘Fear and loathing’

Reacting to the winning ad, Republican National Committee press secretary Christine Iverson said, “They should have called the contest ‘Twenty seconds of fear and loathing of George Bush.’ It proves what we have said all along: The Democratic presidential candidates have a message of protest and pessimism but bring no positive ideas to the debate.”