Bay group's logo pulled from Ehrlich TV ad

Maryland

July 07, 2006|By NICOLE FULLER | NICOLE FULLER,SUN REPORTER

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s campaign altered its newest television advertisement yesterday after officials from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation complained that the ad's use of its logo might give the impression of a political endorsement.

The 30-second advertisement, which began appearing in the Baltimore media market Wednesday, quotes the foundation as calling Ehrlich's work on behalf of the bay "the most significant environmental initiative in a generation." Above those words, the foundation's logo appeared, which its spokesman said could appear to be an endorsement.

Shareese DeLeaver, a spokeswoman for the Ehrlich campaign, said someone from the foundation contacted the campaign yesterday, and the logo was removed from the ad and promptly shipped back to television stations.

"It was inadvertent on our part, so we're just switching out their logo with the type," DeLeaver said. "It wasn't pulled off the air, it's being replaced with an edited ad airing [today]. We weren't trying to offend the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, just quote their words."

Last night, the advertisement showing the logo was still on Ehrlich's official campaign Web site.

John Surrick, a spokesman for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said the organization's nonprofit status doesn't allow it to endorse political candidates.

"We do not endorse candidates, and we stand to lose our nonprofit status if we endorse a candidate," Surrick said. "We made that known to the campaign. We made it clear to them that the use of our logo in their commercial was a problem."

Surrick said he could not verify the authenticity of the quote featured in the commercial, but said, "If they properly attribute a quote that's a correct quote, they can do that."

Rick Abbruzzese, a spokesman for the Democratic gubernatorial campaign of Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, said Ehrlich will do anything to win the election.

"This is just one example of the lengths to which Bob Ehrlich will go to misrepresent his record of failed leadership to the people of Maryland," Abbruzzese said. "The truth is, time and again, Bob Ehrlich has stood with corporate polluters instead of fighting for the bay and Maryland families."

nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

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