Comcast Corporation has banned all gun-related ads and commercials from airing on its broad range of television, radio, Internet and cable networks, a move that comes shortly after the Philadelphia-based media giant acquired NBC Universal from GE for a reported $16.7 billion.
The decision to stop running gun industry ads was not announced, but was discovered when a Michigan gun shop owner tried to buy a TV spot on a local Comcast cable affiliate.
Tom Wright, owner of Williams Gun Sight, was shocked to learn that he could no longer run his 30 second commercial, which had run a number of times in the past with no issue (see commercial below).
“I thought it was ridiculous, we are a legitimate business, we have been here for 80 years,” he told a local ABC News station. “There’s no reason why we can’t promote what we believe in and something that’s guaranteed under the Second Amendment,” Wright added.
Equally outraged was the owner of the advertising agency that represents the interests of Wright along with other firearm-related businesses, John Kupiec, the president of Canadian American Corp.
Kupiec, an National Rifle Association member and vocal supporter of our right to keep and bear arms, spoke to TheBlaze.com about the sudden change in policy, which according to what a Comcast representative told him went into effect on Feb. 8.
“They’ve been a longtime advertiser [but] they said it doesn’t matter who they are,” Kupiec said, “If they sell firearms they will not be allowed to advertise firearms on their airwaves.”
“My company has been in the advertising business for well over 30 years, [and] we’ve never remotely run into a situation where a product or service was banned from being on the airwaves that’s legal,” Kupiec continued.
Kupiec said that the decision would not only effect the bottom line of local companies, but larger companies like Cabela’s and Walmart.
He also, along with Wright, questioned the apparent hypocrisy of the ban. That is, one can view a number of shows on various channels (the Outdoor Channel, the Sportsman Channel, NBC Sports) that feature firearms being used in a legal manner or, on the other hand, one can watch an R-rated movie with all sorts of gun-related violence. However, for some reason, a 30 second gun ad is too much for a viewer to handle.
To this point, Wright told TheBlaze that they’re “fine promoting strip clubs and condoms,” but appear to have a problem airing advertisements for a legal product.
When asked to comment on the situation, a spokesperson for Comcast offered the following statement.
“Consistent with long standing NBC policies, Comcast Spotlight has decided it will not accept new advertising for firearms or weapons moving forward. This policy aligns us with the guidelines in place at many media organizations,” wrote Chris Ellis, the director of communications at Comcast Spotlight.ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI
Obviously, this incident raises larger questions about the way corporate America views gun owners and the Second Amendment. We’ve already seen a number of major Wall Street investment firms panic in the wake of Sandy Hook and sell off their holdings in firearm-related businesses.
There’s also been pressure from the White House to push banks and Fortune 500 companies into supporting President Obama’s gun control agenda.
One will recall a letter written from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to the CEOs of Bank Of America and TD Bank last month, which urged them to pull lines of credit and supplementary funding to gun manufacturers.
“Collectively we can send a clear and unambiguous message to the entire gun industry that investors will no longer financially support companies that support gun violence,” Emanuel wrote.
This Comcast incident should further remind all gun owners that the battle for our right to keep and bear arms is being waged on a number of different fronts. It’s not just in the chambers of Congress that pro-gun control forcers are angling to usurp our freedoms, it’s also in the media, in industry; essentially anywhere and everywhere that matters.