Commentary

Guns Down America To Adland: Just Say No To The NRA

Grassroots organization Guns Down America wants the ad industry to boycott the National Rifle Association now that it has severed ties with Ackerman McQueen and is presumably looking for another agency to take its place.

The group published an “open letter” late last week in which it implored the industry not to take the NRA’s “blood money.”

“The NRA and its ad consultants have successfully advanced dangerous law through a carefully-cultivated public image,” GDA wrote. “You know better than anyone how the right advertising campaign can change public opinion.”

See the full letter here.

The group said it was sending the letter to dozens of large advertising and PR agencies to reinforce its message.

The group probably ought to expand its mailing list. There are hundreds of ad agencies in the U.S., and just because many of them aren’t large doesn’t mean they can’t craft excellent campaigns.

No doubt some agencies will be strongly tempted to compete for the NRA’s business. The gun lobbying group confirmed paying Ackerman McQueen about $40 million in fees in 2018. There's no guarantee that any new shop would get that much, of course, especially in light of recent reports that the NRA’s current financial situation is precarious.

But some agencies have also advocated for changes to reduce gun violence. McKinney staffers, for example, are credited with leading the effort to organize ad pros around the country last year in support of a March For Our Lives initiative called Signs4OurLives.com.

And in April, March For Our Lives issued a powerful PSA from McCann titled “Generation Lockdown.” 

 

 

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