That Medical Marijuana 'Commercial' Never Actually Ran in New Jersey

Comcast Confirmation Was Wrong, Cable Company Now Says

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A low-budget TV commercial for a medical marijuana service is not running on cable channels in New Jersey, despite earlier confirmation from Comcast Spotlight, an ad sales division of Comcast.

The low-budget marijuana ad that never ran.
The low-budget marijuana ad that never ran.

Comcast snuffed out the ad before it appeared, saying it failed to meet the company's guidelines.

Last month, Ad Age and dozens of other media outlets reported that a TV spot for the Medical Cannabis Network would begin running Mar. 1. The company had issued a press release and contacted Ad Age with the information, which a spokeswoman for Comcast Spotlight confirmed.

However, Comcast is now saying its spokesperson was mistaken: The claims from Medical Cannabis Network were just that -- claims.

"The ad has not appeared on Comcast systems and reports and statements to the contrary are incorrect," said Steve Restivo, a Comcast spokesman, in an email to Ad Age. "All commercials are subject to final review by Comcast Spotlight prior to airing and during that process it was determined that the spot did not meet our guidelines."

Mr. Restivo is not the spokesperson who had earlier confirmed that the ads would run.

A spokesoman for Medical Cannabis Network did not respond to an email and a phone message on Monday seeking comment.

The breathless claims from Medical Cannabis Network did lead to a flood of media attention, as CNN's Brian Stelter said Sunday in a report calling out coverage of the ad. All that press may have been as good for the Medical Cannabis Network as a successful TV buy: Videos for the spot on YouTube had topped half a million as of Monday.

Meanwhile, ads aimed at preventing marijuana users from driving while high are scheduled to begin airing in select Colorado markets on Monday. Recreational marijuana became legal in the state on Jan. 1.

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