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Monday, October 04, 2004

"Don't Vote"? Might as well...

An associate sends along this from Daily Kos:
Mysterious ad campaign: "DON'T VOTE"
by kos
Mon Oct 4th, 2004 at 06:15:45 GMT

This is weird.

A series of billboards around the Twin Cities that brazenly declare "DON'T VOTE" have angered civil rights activists.

Fifteen of the billboards have sprung up in Minneapolis, St. Paul and its suburbs in the last few days. Several are in areas with large minority populations, including the Phillips neighborhood in Minneapolis, leading the NAACP and other groups to criticize even the suggestion that citizens shouldn't exercise the right to vote [...]

The billboards are owned by Clear Channel Communications Inc. Lee Ann Muller, the company's general manager for outdoor advertising in Minnesota, wouldn't say who is paying for the billboards, but said it's a "teaser" campaign and its full meaning would become clear soon.

"I made the judgment call that the end of the campaign has value and a positive message, positive benefits for the community," Muller said.

Kos is tending to think it's either a liberal or a conservative plot. I'm wondering if it's either: it sounds more like a stunt to pitch something (although Clear Channel has said that it's not for a product). Maybe it's for a new t.v. show: THAT has certainly been done before. When the original miniseries V ran back in 1983 NBC hired guys to put up "Visitors are your friends" posters then a few days before broadcast spray-paint the blood-red "V" all over 'em. More recently the marketing guys for the X-Men movie got a mob waving anti-mutant signs outside the Today Show window. What I'm trying to say is, I seriously doubt this is a legitimate thing to discourage some people from voting. It's more likely than not a clever marketing scheme, nothing more.

Although if there has been any election where "Don't Vote" is not only a viable choice but an attractive one, this year's is it.