Romney to Run User-Generated Ad

Will Pay for Placement of Contest Winner

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Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney Credit: Jason Moore
WASHINGTON ( -- First came Hillary Clinton's contest for a campaign song. Now Mitt Romney's campaign is unveiling the first contest to create a campaign ad -- or at least the first one a campaign will pay to run.

The "Team Mitt: Create Your Own Ad" contest is being done with Yahoo and, with potential creatives offered a collection of Romney campaign videos, photos, video and audio clips to pick content from.

The campaign wants the ads by Sept. 17 and then will let viewers on its website vote from a selection of finalists. A spokesman said the campaign will pay to air the winning spot the week of Sept. 20, but said no decision has been made about where the ads will run.

In a statement Alex Castellanos, the campaign's chief media strategist and an executive of National Media, Alexandria, Va., called the effort "truly groundbreaking."

"This contest demonstrates Romney for President's commitment to using unique and democratizing online tools to engage voters and harness the extraordinary enthusiasm of its growing team of supporters," he said.

While apparently the first effort to have users create paid advertising for a presidential candidate, several political groups have previously offered contests to create issue ads.

The announcement of the contest came as the Romney campaign began airing a new set of biographic ads in New Hampshire and Iowa.
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