CNN rejects spots: Spurned by networks, anti-war ads buy local

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opposition groups are increasingly turning to advertising to fight off a war with Iraq.

Skirting networks that have rejected their ads for a national run, coalitions of groups as diverse as Greenpeace, the NAACP, the National Organization for Women, True Majority and the National Council of Churches are buying local cable time for celebrity-laden commercials that question war. Last week, moveon.org announced a $200,000 buy on AOL Time Warner's CNN to run locally in New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. The single spot, from Zimmerman & Markman, Santa Monica, Calif, features Martin Sheen urging people on Feb. 26 to contact their U.S. senators and the White House to oppose the war.

A spot seen in Washington features Ben and Jerry's co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield and were produced for TrueMajority.org by Too Much Media.

Mr. Cohen said CNN would not allow TrueMajority to buy time on "Larry King Live." One spot he said was rejected features Susan Sarandon asking former U.S. Iraq ambassador Ed Peck, "Before our kids start coming home from Iraq in body bags and women and children start dying in Baghdad, I need to know what did Iraq do to us?" The effort also features Janeane Garofalo and was produced by Avenging Angels, New York. "We are left with little choice but to buy time to get our message across," said Mr. Cohen.

CNN said the network does not accept issue ads on regions in conflict.

Mr. Cohen said another spot featuring hip-hop producer Russell Simmons produced by Global Vision, New York, was pulled off New York cable following complaints from viewers that its pictures of combat casualties were too graphic.

Also appearing in the TrueMajority effort: hip-hop artist Mos Def and "Judging Amy" stars Tyne Daly and Amy Brenneman.

Mr. Cohen said last week there are plans for print and perhaps radio ads asking war opponents to wear blue ribbons, signaling the color of the United Nations.

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