NEW YORK (Reuters) – NBC, Fox News and Facebook (FB.O) pulled a campaign ad linking a caravan of Central American migrants and a cop killer, which U.S. President Donald Trump endorsed and CNN deemed “racist,” the media companies said on Monday. The primetime TV ads on NBC, paid for by Donald J. Trump for President, ran during a “Sunday Night Football” broadcast.
Luis Bracamontes, only partially shown by court order, is arraigned in Superior Court in Sacramento, in October 2014. REUTERS/Max Whittaker
It intercut courtroom footage of Luis Bracamontes, an undocumented Mexican immigrant convicted of killing two sheriff’s deputies in California in 2014 with scenes of the caravan, which has been moving slowly through Mexico toward the United States.
The ad was placed on the popular football broadcast to encourage voters to choose candidates from Trump’s Republican Party in elections on Tuesday that will determine whether Republicans retain control of the U.S. Congress.
“After further review we recognize the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible,” said a spokesperson for NBC Universal, owned by Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O), in a statement on Monday. The ad was earlier rejected by CNN, which labeled it “racist.”
“CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that this ad is racist. When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined. Those are the facts,” the network tweeted on Saturday.
Fox News issued a statement about taking down the ad shortly after NBC, according to a CNN report.
“Upon further review, Fox News pulled the ad yesterday and it will not appear on either Fox News Channel or Fox Business Network,” Marianne Gambelli, Fox News’ president of advertisement sales, said in a statement.
Facebook Inc joined in, and said it no longer allowed paid promotion of the ad because it violated its policies regarding sensational content.
However, it did not block Facebook users from sharing the video. The company said it held advertising on its platform to a higher standard.
“This ad violates Facebook’s advertising policy against sensational content so we are rejecting it,” a Facebook spokesman said in a statement. “While the video is allowed to be posted on Facebook, it cannot receive paid distribution.”
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Reporting by Kenneth Li; editing by Grant McCool, David Gregorio and Jonathan Oatis