NRA vs. Comcast Over Guns in TV Ads for Outdoor Show

Comcast: "We don’t accept ads with children holding guns."
Comcast has asked that these images of children holding guns be removed from a TV commercial for the Great American Outdoor Show.

Comcast has asked that these images of children holding guns be removed from a TV commercial for the Great American Outdoor Show.

The National Rifle Association is not happy with Comcast after the cable giant asked the group to censor images of guns from its TV commercials for the Great American Outdoor Show.

The Outdoor Show is held February 6-12 in Harrisburg, Pa., and is billed as “an NRA country jam” celebrating hunting, fishing and the outdoors. It’s run by the NRA who submitted two 30-second ads to Comcast but didn’t take too kindly to an email back saying it needed to “remove any and all images of rifles, shooting ranges, and hand guns” before the ads could be evaluated for approval.

That led to this Washington Examiner article bashing Comcast, calling the move “a one-two punch on the First and Second Amendments.” Then conservatives on Twitter started blasting Comcast — saying the company is being hypocritical because it depicts guns in plenty of its movies, TV shows and commercials already. Some even called for a boycott of the cable giant.

What happened next? Depends who you ask.

A spokesperson for Comcast Spotlight, the advertising and sales division of Comcast Cable, said the company just wants the NRA to remove images of children holding guns — not all images of guns. The spokesperson said the advertising executive on the case was new to the job and didn’t know the exact guidelines. (Comcast reviews commercials on a case-by-case basis to make sure they are consistent with company and industry standards.)

“We don’t accept ads with children holding guns,” the spokesperson said, noting that one of the ads has already been approved and the other is still pending.

But Kyle Jillson, a spokesperson for the NRA, said Comcast “contacted us only very recently, after the story had been broken by the Washington Examiner,” to let them know that one ad was approved and the other was pending the removal of specific images of children.

“We will now make the requested change so that both ads may air,” said Jillson, who noted that the images of children holding guns come from the show’s air gun range, which is staffed by NRA range safety officers.

Here’s the ad in question:

Although people have strong feelings about gun control and gun rights, Comcast said there is no political motivation behind its request to change the ad.

“We never approve or reject an ad based on our agreement or disagreement with the views expressed in those ads, but we need to make sure they comply with our guidelines, which are consistent with industry standards.”

Here’s the other ad, which Comcast has already approved:

Like what you’re reading? Stay in touch with BizPhilly — here’s how: