CLINTON MAY JUMP INTO GAMES;PRESIDENT'S ADMEN CONSIDER BUYS ON LOCAL NBC STATIONS' COVERAGE

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Bill Clinton also is reaching for Olympic gold.

Several sellers of spot TV on local NBC stations say the Clinton/Gore '96 campaign has begun negotiations aimed at buying commercial time on both affiliates and network owned-and-operated stations during Olympic broadcasts.

READY TO MOVE

The media reps say the campaign had not purchased time by press time, but was checking availabilities and appeared to be preparing to make a buy.

It was not immediately clear if the campaign was planning additional ad spending for Olympic time slots or would just switch its normal day-to-day ad schedules to Olympic programming.

The Clinton/Gore campaign has just six weeks left to burn through the $37 million it can legally spend in the primary.

PLENTY OF CASH

As of May 31, the Clinton campaign had spent just $19 million. That number has risen significantly since then, but some political experts say the campaign still has plenty left in its war chest.

An Olympic buy would put the Clinton ads in an environment of big summer viewership, though they would have to vie for attention with some of the bigger-budget campaigns of major marketers.

Republicans say Democrats have been spending about $2 million a week on media time, but the spending until last week was mainly borne by the Democratic National Committee rather than the Clinton campaign.

TOBACCO STANCE TARGETED

Both the Clinton campaign and the Republican National Committee launched several new ads last week, including an expected one from the Clinton forces blasting GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole for his stance on tobacco advertising (AA, July 8).

The Clinton commercial pictures three teen-agers smoking.

"These children are smoking for the first time. One will die from the habit," says the 30-second spot from Squier Knapp Ochs, Washington.

Voice-over says: "President Clinton says stop ads that teach our children to smoke. But Bob Dole opposes an FDA limit on tobacco ads that appeal to children. Says cigarettes aren't necessarily addictive. Some say milk is bad for kids, too, Dole says. Bob Dole or President Clinton-who's really protecting our children?"

ATTACK AND COUNTERATTACK

In other spots, the Republicans and the Clinton/Gore committee traded charges about taxes. An RNC spot, from the New Century Media Group, accusing President Clinton of supporting "the largest tax hike in history," was followed by a Clinton/Gore ad ripping Bob Dole for supporting tax hikes.

"Dole voted to raise payroll taxes, Social Security taxes, the '90 income tax...You're going to see the real Bob Dole from now on. The real Bob Dole. Thirty-five years of higher taxes," says the Democratic spot.

A second GOP spot on healthcare, via Smith Harroff, Arlington, Va., urges people to write President Clinton and Sen. Ted Kennedy (D., Mass.), urging support of the Republicans' "common sense" approach to healthcare.

Contributing: Chuck Ross.

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