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Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger: Do It for the Children!

As the FCC Names the Head of a Review Team for Their Proposed Merger, Comcast and Time Warner Cable Tug at Heartstrings

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Comcast and Time Warner Cable are continuing their charm offensive in hopes that their controversial merger goes through -- this morning deploying a print ad that asks "Who Wants More Students to Have Access to Low-Cost Internet?"

Well, everybody, right? (Duh.)

The logic of the ad, which appears in the inky edition of Politico (distributed free primarily in D.C., most notably to members of Congress and other policymakers), is that if you care about children, you'll want Comcast and Time Warner Cable to merge. Below a shot of eager, happy kids in a classroom, all raising their hands (to signal their support of the Comcast-TWC deal, no doubt), a block of text reads,

"Every child deserves equal access to a good education. So three years ago we started a program called Internet Essentials, to connect low-income families to the power of the Internet. Today, it's the nation's largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. Over one million low-income Americans have connected to the Internet at home via Internet Essentials. Through the transaction with Time Warner Cable, we'll bring it to millions more. Find out how we can do more together at comcastcorporation.com/together."

The ad avoids the word "merger" in favor of "transaction" -- the term Comcast and Time Warner used in a previous child-centric ad -- and ends with a split-level tagline: "Comcast + Time Warner Cable" followed by "Together Is Better for More People."

Meanwhile, as Reuters reports, Hillary Burchuk, a former U.S. Justice Department antitrust division lawyer who has been with the FCC since 2011, has just been named to head the FCC team that will review the Comcast and Time Warner Cable deal.

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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