Super PAC pulls ad after request from Olympic committee
July 26th, 2012
03:33 PM ET
2 years ago

Super PAC pulls ad after request from Olympic committee

(CNN) - The super PAC backing President Barack Obama will not air a television ad using archival footage of the Olympic Games after the U.S. Olympic Committee registered a complaint because of copyright concerns.

The minute long ad from Priorities USA used the Olympic "parade of nations" to mock Mitt Romney's reported overseas investment accounts, and was set to air in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia during broadcasts of the London Games, which begin Friday.

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In a statement, U.S. Olympic Committee Spokesman Patrick Sandusky said the ad flew against what the Olympics were all about.

"The Olympic Games are a celebration of friendship, excellence and respect," Sandusky wrote. "While we are absolutely confident that neither presidential candidate nor campaign has participated in the production or distribution of these negative ads, the attacks, using Olympic themes and images, need to stop."

He continued, writing "for anything even remotely negative to be associated with that time-honored, inspirational moment would be extremely unfortunate."

Earlier in the election cycle, Romney also had an ad on the airwaves with images of the Olympics in Salt Lake City. It ran at the beginning of December in Iowa and New Hampshire. While it was still online mid-afternoon Thursday, it no longer appeared on YouTube later that same day.

A U.S. Olympic Committee source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter, told CNN the group will ask any candidates using Olympic footage to stop airing them and ask YouTube to bring them down.

Later, in an official statement, the committee said its policies apply to "all political ads."

"Regarding Olympic footage, it pertains to all ads. We will not allow Olympic footage to be used in any political ad, positive or negative," Sandusky said.

The International Olympic Committee concurred. Sandrine Tonge, a media relations manager for the IOC, wrote, "The IOC does not allow footage of the Olympic Games or an association with the Olympic rings to be used for political purposes, in line with the Olympic Charter."

Bull Burton, a co-founder of Priorities USA, confirmed that the group was taking down the ad because of copyright concerns. He said the U.S. Olympic Committee called Wednesday and asked that the ad be removed.

"When we were told Mitt Romney and his allies were going to be held to the same standard we were more than happy to comply," Burton said.

The group said it has no plans to try to re-do the ad not using Olympics footage, and Burton added he believed the point of the ad was made.

ABC News first reported that Priorities USA was pulling its Olympic ad.

CNN's Kevin Bohn and Wade Payson-Denney contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Priorities USA
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Myviewis

    I saw a portion of the ad and it was done in very bad taste, glad to see it was taken down.

    July 26, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. truth hurts

    leave it to the sleazy democrats and obama to use the olympics for political purposes. absolutely no class or morales. but i guess we already knew that.

    July 26, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. Max

    Anyone else sick of negative (and nasty) politics? WAKE UP BARACK and MITT! WE expect something better!

    July 26, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. gt

    its nuclear destructiom from obama and his chicago thugs...do anything say anything to win...great leadership ,,,not

    July 26, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. Mikey

    They make a good point.

    July 26, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. betterdays

    I would assume young Democrats in charge of these sorts of things to be completely ignorant about copyright law. And I'd be right.

    July 26, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. DagnyTag

    The"Uniter-in Chief"..........riiiiiiight. Classic Liberal Ideology = do as I say, not as I do

    July 26, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. truth hurts

    >betterdays – I would assume young Democrats in charge of these sorts of things
    >to be completely ignorant about copyright law. And I'd be right

    democrats are always stealing from others. your paycheck is just one of the many things they think they own.

    July 26, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. Wes B.

    Let's all give a big THANKS to the U.S. Supreme Court of their decision in Citizens United. If not for their decision, we'd never have all these wonderful SuperPAC ads.

    Thanks SCOTUS–for allowing money and negativity to decide our elections. Hooray!

    July 26, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. actandurg

    This guy in White House will do ANYTHING to get re-elected.
    Reflects just how low standards have fallen in America ... "Ask what your country can do for you, not what you can do for your country."
    Even JFK is rolling in his grave.

    July 26, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    ">betterdays – I would assume young Democrats in charge of these sorts of things
    >to be completely ignorant about copyright law. And I'd be right

    democrats are always stealing from others. your paycheck is just one of the many things they think they own."

    Stick a sock in it, junior. The GOP/Teatrolls can't even run a campaign without stealing the opposing campaign's talking points with their "I know you are but what am I" psychological projection shenanigans.

    July 26, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. Country Above Parties

    GOP/TP policy: REPEAT THE LIES OFTEN AND SOME IGNORANTS WILL START BELIEVING. Sad truth is this may be work for them. GOP and cronies put up 99% negative ad and Dem are just starting to catch up....

    July 26, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Charlotte

    As if Mittiepoop isn't using the Olympics for political gain....

    July 26, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. Kris Craig

    Wow, the Fox "News" commenters are really milking this one! I hate to break it to you guys, but President Obama doesn't dictate what ads that PAC runs, just like Mitt Romney doesn't dictate what ads the PACs supporting him runs. That would be illegal and nobody is alleging that either candidate is breaking that law.

    Besides, as far as attack ads go, this one is vanilla. Leave it to you Repubs to crank-up your fake outrage machine over something so utterly silly as this. Besides, the ad made a valid point: Mitt Romney has shipped countless jobs to China. It's a valid attack. Using Olympic footage though was clearly a bad choice, though. But to their credit, they did take the ad down once objections were raised.

    As far as copyright law goes, you guys do NOT want to go there. Mitt and other Republicans have gotten in trouble numerous times for using copyrighted material in ads and rallies without permission. However, in Romney's case, he did not comply when the artist demanded he stop. So if I were you, I wouldn't be pontificating about how the evil liberals don't understand copyright law, because you guys are just as bad if not worse.

    July 26, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Good. I thought the ad was bad comedy. The first time I saw it was on a news show the other morning, and I though they were showing a clip from a late night comedian.

    July 26, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. truth hurts

    rmoney doesn't have to steal olympic video of the skier wiping out going down the ski jump to illustrate the agony of failure.
    all he needs to do is use the millions of seconds of obama in his own words. four years of nothing but lies and bs that can now be replayed and shown to be exactly that. obama is toast and thanks to obama own words the world will hear it.

    July 26, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. Four and The Door

    He continued, writing "for anything even remotely negative to be associated with that time-honored, inspirational moment would be extremely unfortunate."
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________
    Yeah, but negative is all Obama/ Biden 2012 has got. I mean, it's bad enough for Americans across the country but can you imagine how frustrating it must be to be in the Obama Administration and then to try and campaign again coming off the results of these last 3 years? "Go negative",,, that's all they got.

    July 26, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. Time For Mitt to Fess Up

    First off I think anyone with the last name Sandusky should probably keep a low profie during the olympic games, and secondly there is no doubt in my mind this Sandusky supports Romney and has used his position to protest. But I like the bumper sticke "Sandusky and Romney, to pea's in a pod."

    July 26, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. groinksan

    Typical millenials and Y-generation running these super-PACs. These are the same ones who are breaking copyright laws via illegal downloading of MP3s and movies. They have no sense of intellectual property laws. They'll do anything to win this election.

    July 26, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "Yeah, but negative is all Obama/ Biden 2012 has got. I mean, it's bad enough for Americans across the country but can you imagine how frustrating it must be to be in the Obama Administration and then to try and campaign again coming off the results of these last 3 years? "Go negative",,, that's all they got."

    More projection? hahahaha...so sad.

    July 26, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    ""Sandusky and Romney, to pea's in a pod.""

    Or even better: "Romney/Sandusky: In It for the Children."

    July 26, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  22. Bill

    I would tell the Olympic committee to stick it in their ear. The Olympic committee is a disgrace. I would not watch these games if my life depended it.

    July 26, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  23. was for obama, now for romney

    low...dems...low....lets break these partisan lines and go for a moderate succesful business man.....give romney a go and if he doesnt suceed like pres. obama letdown then we can get hilary in. everything romney has touched has been successful from an objective persons point of view.

    July 26, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. john

    Next line should read OBAMA BORROWs 800 Billion From China.. all the same stuff I wish one canidant would just say what they are goign to do instead of what the other has done wrong or won't do.. what happens is as long as they do that then they never make a promise and they never tell you what they are going to do..

    July 26, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. truth hurts

    >Sniffit – More projection? hahahaha...so sad.

    sure sounds like total agreement or surrender. no facts to rebut the assertion. the whole world knows the obama plan, it is no secret. why do you deny it? where are all the ads about how great the unemployment rate is after 4 years and a trillion dollars down the dumper?

    July 26, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
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