Comcast banning gun shop ads that show... guns

I still haven’t managed to make it out to the theater to see Oz the Great and Powerful, but I did run across a story at PJ Media which appears to have come from somewhere over the rainbow with flying monkeys. Cable giant Comcast has apparently been instituting a new policy in several markets regarding advertising spots purchased by sporting goods stores, gun shops and related businesses. You can air your ads with them, providing you don’t show any guns, archery equipment or anything pointy, apparently.

Yes, you read that correctly. If your gun store wants to run an advertisement, you can’t show any guns.

The first instance was United Loan and Firearm in Georgia, who was told by Comcast that their advertisements needed to shorten the company name to just, “United Loan” and couldn’t show any images of guns. The next story, brought to us by Bryan Preston, is possibly even more staggering.

Comcast’s new policy extends beyond Georgia. Bob Viden, owner of Bob’s Little Sport Shop in Glassboro, New Jersey, told the Conservative Commando radio show on Wednesday that Comcast is making the same demands of him.

“Are you still able to advertise on Comcast?” host Rick Trader asks Viden.

“No, we’re not. In fact they told us we had to change our ad so that it would not show any guns or the archery being shot in the range if we wanted to run the ad,” Viden replied. “So we elected that if we cannot run the ad the way we want it we’re not going to run the ad.”…

According to Viden, Comcast representatives told his daughter, who handles the store’s advertising, that the cable giant has a new policy that does not allow commercials to show guns or even archery gear, even though it is being used in a safe manner in the ad.

One of the real kickers that Preston turns up in this report involves the footage of the archery (yes… archery!) which was used in the ad. The sporting goods shop didn’t even produce it… Comcast did. And they had run it before. But now, the footage they themselves produced for the advertising customer is banned from the airwaves. I wonder if they allow knives to be shown?

If you click through to the link you can listen to the short, 5 minute Conservative Commando interview with the shop owner. Apparently these are not the only two instances where Comcast has done this, and hearing him recount his experience is worth your time. All I can say is this is one of those rare moments when I’m kind of glad I’m still on Time Warner. (And it takes a lot to say that lately.)