Dean ad airs on MUTV

With the Democratic primary elections slated for Tuesday, candidate campaigns are increasing their advertisements. Marquette's student groups are no exception.

A Students for Dean advertisement aired Sunday night in a special Marquette television news program about the Democratic debate with a disclaimer running along the bottom.

The 30-second advertisement, submitted by the student political organization Students for Dean, was hesitantly accepted by MUTV administrators.

MUTV commercials consist of a two-minute block, with four 30-second promotions. According to Barbara Fleming, broadcast professor and the MUTV advisor, the two-minute blocks are pre-produced in entirety and rotated.

According to Fleming, Students for Dean approached MUTV about a spot three or four days before the debate, which did not leave much time for editing the promotion block to include the advertisement.

"We ended up having a student go through and re-edit our promotion block," Fleming said. " We actually went out of our way to be as accommodating as possible despite the last-minuteness of it."

MUTV was also reluctant to air the advertisement because it may have appeared that the student-run news show was taking sides, but eventually aired the advertisement because of the equal-time rule. The equal time rule states that if any political group purchases time on a network, the channel must also accept advertisements from other candidates that are the same amount of time. Though MUTV is not FCC-regulated, representatives of the station said they wanted to follow the FCC standards of the equal time rule.

"We were hesitant to air a candidate commercial during our coverage because we didn't appear biased towards one candidate, especially since none of the other student groups for candidates inquired about spots," said junior Julie Huck, MUTV news director. "Ultimately, we decided that it would be more wrong of us to deny them the chance to put it on the air, since we have nothing in our policy about rejecting candidate ads."

Sophomore Ryan Alexander, president of Students for Dean, said the organization paid $40 for its MUTV spot. Their advertisement aired twice Sunday night and twice during Monday's programming.

Alexander said the purpose of airing the advertisement on TV is to get more attention.

"It creates a buzz, which is exactly what I was hoping to do by this," Alexander said. "I was hoping that a few people would see it and talk about it."

Other student political organizations have not approached MUTV about airing their advertisements but they do have an equal chance, according to Fleming. Huck said that the reason why no other student organization has approached MUTV is because MUTV has not created enough publicity about purchasing commercials.