Bradley breaks first TV commercial

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Bill Bradley, the Democratic presidential candidate who up till now has run only print advertising, launches his first TV commercials Nov. 17. The first spots, to air in Iowa and New Hampshire, come from the group of Madison Avenue ad executives called the Crystal Group, which has been meeting with Sen. Bradley's campaign team for more than a year. The commercials are expected to be mainly biographical, aimed at giving a presidential image to the former senator from New Jersey.

Al Gore's rival campaign has run two TV spots so far, with the first about the Senate's rejection of the nuclear test ban treaty and the second featuring the vice president's views about some healthcare issues.

In some other developments today in presidential campaigns:

--U.S. Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), a GOP hopeful, is expanding his current advertising from Iowa and New Hampshire to South Carolina. Sen. McCain's commercials from Stevens Reed Curcio & Co., Alexandria, Va., is biographical, talking in part about his background as a prisoner of war.

--The Republican Leadership Council launched a commercial in Iowa and New Hampshire warning voters to be on the lookout for negative ads from Steve Forbes. "When Steve Forbes ran for President last time . . . he spent all his money tearing down his opponents. He hurt the Republican Party," says a woman in the ad produced by Larry Weitzner's Jamestown Associates, Princeton N.J. "Now I see he might start again with those negative ads. That's just going to help the Democrats. Someone needs to tell Steve Forbes that if he doesn't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." The leadership group, which has a moderate GOP philosophy while Mr. Forbes' is more conservative, said it would spend $100,000 to air the spot between now and Thanksgiving.

--Mr. Forbes is expected to start ads comparing himself with GOP front-runner George W. Bush as soon as next week, but the campaign has indicated that the tone of the ads will be much tamer than those Mr. Forbes ran four years ago against then front-runner Bob Dole. William Eisner & Associates, Hales Corners, Wis., handles.

Copyright November 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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