“Boycott the News” is an indirect boycott designed to correct bias and censorship in the news coverage of the war. It aims to disrupt the flow of advertising revenue that supports the network newscasts. The combined effect of September 11th and the current war in Iraq has created a difficult climate for advertising on network newscasts. The time for this type of boycott is now because there are several weak links in the revenue chain of the networks. In the first week of the war the networks had 100 million dollars worth of ads pulled. No one wanted to be associated with the war and the anxiety it was expected to bring.

Advertising agencies are now expecting the “new normal” a term they use to describe the consumer as he adjusts to a crisis and establishes a new level of acceptance. Once this is achieved advertising can safely proceed. 12 new auto-advertising campaigns are about to launch worth 350 million dollars to the networks. Action now might disrupt the idea of a new normal. This boycott has the potential to affect change quickly because of the weak targets in the chain – the advertising agencies and media buyers. Both of these entities are extremely sensitive to putting their client’s products into controversial time slots. That is why they avoided the news when the war began and why some print media offered to create “war free” zones for ad placement.

The first month’s list is published at: www.altrue.net/altruesite/files/notv613/current_campaign.html. Next month we will expand the stations covered to include stations wholly owned by GE, Viacom, NewsCorp, and Disney to draw attention to the FCC June decision on changing the rules to allow more media consolidation. Before we contact the Advertising Agencies and Media Buyers for the April list, we wanted to invite as many groups as possible to join in solidarity with the boycott. Contact: www.altrue.net/site/notv613/contactus.php for additional information.

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