Gun shop ads have been pulled from the air by Comcast cable television, the latest media outlet to further restrict the advertising in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shooting and subsequent outcry.
The ad drop is a step down from what had been a practice to accept the ads if they did not feature guns.
“Consistent with long-standing NBC policies, Comcast Spotlight has decided it will not accept new advertising for firearms or weapons moving forward,” said Chris Ellis, senior communications director.
The move follows January decisions by ESPN, Time Warner, Groupon and other outlets to restrict gun-related ads, reacting to a nationwide sentiment to limit public exposure to at least some firearms and related advertisements.
Eric Elliott of VIP Marketing bought local spots coinciding with the presidential State of the Union address on Tuesday, to advertise Ladies Night at the ATP Gunshop and Range in Summerville, when he was notified the ads would be curtailed, he said. The notice referenced a Comcast content guideline that has been revised, adding, “For clarity, Comcast will not accept advertisements from gun shops, gun shows or shooting ranges. Comcast will accept advertisements for pawn shops provided that the advertisement may not mention or show any weapons ... Commercials that include weapons or fireworks as props will be approved on a case-by-case basis.”
Elliott is confounded.
“Is it that they are trying to make a statement? If so, what is the statement? The most popular programs on these cable systems are shows with guns in them,” he said. “I think the decision could have been thought through a little more. Everyone in the country (has) had the little children and community of Newtown, Conn., on their minds and in their hearts. Other mediums such as broadcast, radio stations and our local newspaper have had no problem promoting ATP and its services.”