'Consumer Control' Not So Helpful in Politics

Huckabee Getting Unwanted 'Help' in Iowa

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Regular readers of Ad Age hear a lot about consumer control and consumer-generated media. And while the "Obama Girl" and "Hillary as 1984" videos from earlier in the year bring up certain aspects of the fragmented media and regular schmoes taking control, Mike Huckabee seems to be having a potentially more significant problem in Iowa.

According to The Politico, "Mike Huckabee's campaign is being aided by an independent group run by a former top aide at the NRSC and funded in part by a group of retired Procter & Gamble executives in Ohio."

The catch here is that "aid" is in the eye of the beholder. The "Trust Huckabee" group has been flooding Iowa with pro-Huckabee phone calls.

Huckabee's take? "Our campaign has nothing to do with the push polling and I wish they would stop. We don't want this kind of campaigning because it violates the spirit of our campaign." His campaign manager called the assitance "extremely counterproductive."

The group said it had no plans to stop its efforts.

This being politics, it brings up questions beyond the obvious: "How do you get hyper fans to stop doing something that may hurt the brand?" Two other things to consider. One is that the group is working for another candidate and just trying to get phone-averse Iowans to turn sour on Huckabee. That option seems highly unlikely as those involved with the group have donated substantial sums of money to the Huckabee effort.

Another possibility is that the Huckabee campaign knows what's going on, welcomes what's going on and is simply taking an arms-length approach to show that the Huckster is sweet and nice and not a man to get involved with the dirtier aspects of politicking.

Of course, that's just rampant speculation on my part.