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ADMAN IN WARNER FIASCO REMAINS ON DOLE'S TEAM; STEVENS HIT FOR DOCTORED TV SPOT

By Published on .

Greg Stevens, one of three ad executives working for Bob Dole's campaign, remained under fire last week for using a doctored photograph in a TV spot for Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia.

Despite the controversy, the Dole campaign said it would continue to use Mr. Stevens and his agency, Greg Stevens & Co., Alexandria, Va.

WHOSE HEAD? WHOSE BODY?

In the spot, a photo of Sen. Charles Robb (D., Va.) shaking hands with former Gov. Douglas Wilder, with President Clinton looking on, was electronically doctored so that Democratic senatorial candidate Mark Warner's head appeared on Sen. Robb's body. The spot starts out by claiming: "Look at the real Mark Warner."

Sen. Warner pulled the ad and fired Mr. Stevens after stories in local news media pointed up the alteration (AA, Oct. 14).

Mr. Stevens, in a statement, apologized and said he could offer "no justification . . . In my own zeal to demonstrate Mark Warner's clear political insider status, we played with the picture to fill a hole in the ad and make a point."

Mark Warner last week responded by breaking a commercial suggesting the doctored picture in the spot instead indicates the "real" Sen. John Warner.

"Who was John Warner trying to fool?" asks the new spot from Trippi McMahon & Squier. "This is the real John Warner: unprincipled ads, practicing politics as usual .*.*. how can we trust him?"

Sen. Warner's campaign said it didn't believe the controversy would have that much effect.

"The senator acted decisively, demonstrated integrity and leadership, and the issue is behind us," said a campaign spokesman.

The Clinton/Gore '96 campaign called for Mr. Dole to follow Sen. Warner's lead and also fire Mr. Stevens, who along with Alex Castellanos of National Media Corp., Alexandria, and Chris Mattola, a Philadelphia producer, are doing Mr. Dole's advertising.

The Dole campaign said it had no intention of doing that.

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