TRANSACTIONS;CAMPAIGN CLOUT;BATTLING THE THREAT POSED BY POLITICAL ADS

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"I simply believe that [political commercials are] giving advertising a bad name and I'd like to stop it." His solution was radical. "It is time to stop selling spots to political candidates." This was John O'Toole, the Four A's chairman, in 1984.

The clarion call for regulation of political advertising was made again by Alex Kroll ( Young & Rubicam) in 1992 and Burt Manning (J. Walter Thompson) in '96.

Mr. Manning suggests that to improve the "smear

and scare advertising" of media consultants, we encourage them "to set up their own self-regulation process *with the same standards9 used by the ad industry.

Second, Mr. Manning says, get help from the media to raise the issue. And get pol-iticians to regulate it, he adds.

So maybe now is the time to differentiate ourselves from the political ads-"show" the positive side of advertising instead of harping on the negative lead of political media consultants?

"No," replies Mr. Manning. "Twelve years ago, it was a matter of political correctness to leave political commercials alone, today the issue is survival of brand advertising."

Dave Vadehra is president of Video Storyboard Tests, New York.

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