Statement by Eli Pariser, Political Action Executive Director, Resolving the New York Times Ad Rate Issue

Sep 23, 2007, 01:00 ET from Political Action

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the Public Editor
 column of today's New York Times, the Times' vice president admits that,
 without the knowledge or consent of 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 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.

SOURCE Political Action