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Mad, mad, mad men

Gazette staff February 19th, 2013

The late comedian Bill Hicks once called people in advertising “Satan’s little helpers.” While that catchy phrase isn’t explicitly noted in a Feb. 13 Washington Post story about Oklahoma City-based Ackerman McQueen, it does sort of loom over the article’s examination of how the high-profile firm has shaped some bizarre ad campaigns for the National Rifle Association.

Credit: Brad Gregg

Ackerman McQueen, stated the Post, is responsible for one of the most controversial pro-gun ads in recent years, the one that bravely asked: “Are the president’s kids more important than yours? Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?” Not asked was this: Um, do your kids receive credible death threats on a daily basis? No? Oh, that’s right, you’re probably not the president. Sorry.

At any rate, the White House called the TV spot “repugnant and cowardly,” which is sort of like saying water is wet.

The Post, which documented how the ad firm has been involved in several NRA internal battles over the years, also credited Ackerman McQueen with writing an infamous 1995 NRA fundraising letter that suggested an assault-weapons ban at that time “gives jack-booted government thugs more power to take away our constitutional rights, break in our doors, seize our guns, destroy our property and even injure or kill us.”

Whew! That’s pretty powerful stuff.

It’s a good thing that sort of overheated rhetoric doesn’t gin up crazy people.

That letter, of course, went out shortly before a government-hating paranoiac blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

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02.20.2013 at 10:13 Reply

The people at Ackerman McQueen know that profits made from the NRA are "blood money". Why else would they do everything possible to distance themselves from the organization? These are people who spend tens of thousands to win local ADDY Awards each year - but never enter their NRA handiwork. Their cuddly connection with the NRA makes the agency's pompous arrogance even harder to stomach. You gotta wonder if a payback is coming?