MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE
For Immediate Release:
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Statement by Eli Pariser, MoveOn.org Political Action Executive Director, Resolving the New York Times Ad Rate Issue
In the Public Editor column of today's New York Times, the Times' vice president admits that, without the knowledge or consent of MoveOn.org Political Action, the Times "made a mistake" in charging MoveOn its standby rate of $65,000 for the advertisement run on Monday September 10. According to the Public Editor, the Times' vice president admitted that the company's advertising representative "failed to make it clear that for that rate the Times could not guarantee the Monday placement but left MoveOn.org with the understanding that the ad would run then." According to the Public Editor, "the group should have paid $142,083."
Now that the Times has revealed this mistake for the first time, and while we believe that the $142,083 figure is above the market rate paid by most organizations, out of an abundance of caution we have decided to pay that rate for this ad. We will therefore wire the $77,083 difference to the Times tomorrow (Monday, September 24, 2007).
We call on Mayor Giuliani, who received exactly the same ad deal for the same price, to pay the corrected fee also.
The Public Editor's column makes crystal clear that at no time did MoveOn have any reason to believe that it was receiving from the Times anything other than the normal and usual charge for the advertisement. And there is no evidence of any kind that the error in quoting of rates was in any way based on the content of the advertisement or the identity of its sponsor. Of course, Moveon believed that it was engaged in an arms length negotiation regarding advertising rates with the Times and assumed that it was being quoted advertising prices consistent with the Times' usual and normal charge.
MoveOn continues, of course, to stand by the content of the advertisement and to urge citizens and their elected representatives in the Congress to focus on the continued dishonesty of the Bush Administration and the American blood and treasure being lost in a war for which the Administration has no exit strategy. Certainly that issue is more worthy of the attention of the electorate and the media than the mistake of an advertising representative or the wording of an advertisement.