Ackerman McQueen has to be sweating right now…
11:02 AM EST on February 27, 2018
I'm not too sure what to make of the recent movement by the Department of Online Social Justice to get corporations to stop working with or for the NRA.
Don't get me wrong – as a firearm owner, I think the NRA is an awful, propaganda-peddling organization and I would love nothing more than to see it fail – but I don't like it when groupthink and the court of public opinion picks and chooses which partisan special interest groups get corporate money and support. That should be left to rich powerful people in boardrooms.
I also can’t help but watch any social media movement today with a dose of skepticism. I wonder how many Russian trolls are tweeting #BoycottNRA at this very moment? And even if the boycott campaigns are legit, do you really think they'll silence the NRA? Those wackos still have plenty of private money and support. In fact, I'd be willing to bet the boycott movement makes NRA members even more extreme and defiant. Basically, Mother Russia will be very happy.
With those thoughts out of the way, one group that has to be watching the #BoycottNRA movement with heightened awareness is Oklahoma City's Ackerman McQueen. It's the ad agency the Oklahoma City ruling class turns to for advertising, brand support, and shitty NBA logos. It's also who the NRA uses to craft its fear mongering rhetoric and propaganda, something Ackerman proudly boasts on their website.
That image links to a story about the great work Ackerman has done helping the NRA craft and create targeted gun propaganda through the branded-news website NRAnews.com. Here's the article.
The local Oklahoma City news media, which is always looking to connect a national trend to a local story, has rarely, if ever, reported the connection that one of OKC's most recognizable ad agencies has with one of the world's most notorious and hated organizations.
I'm sure this is because the Ackerman / NRA connection is not a legit news story. It has nothing to do with Ackerman being the agency of record and media buyer for big local spenders like INTEGRIS, The Chickasaw Nation, OG&E, The State Fair, multiple tribal casinos, as well as prominent non-profits like Allied Arts, Oklahoma City Ballet and even the Oklahoma City Bombing National Memorial.
Yeah, that's right. The memorial that helps us heal from the crazed actions of an anti-government, right-wing, gun nut shares its ad agency with NRA. Just check out this partial roll call of existing Ackerman clients.
In all fairness to Ackerman, Tim McVeigh did quit the NRA in 1994 because he thought their stance on gun rights was too weak. If only he were alive today to see the aggressive stance the NRA is taking today to block any sort of meaningful and needed gun reforms in this country. I'm sure he'd be happy.
Although the local media (outside of us) has been quiet, the national media doesn't mind sharing the details of the Ackerman - NRA relationship. The Washington Post covered it in 2013. Real Progress released this earlier in the week:
Through dozens of mass shootings, one ad agency keeps producing the NRA’s slick messaging
In the wake of the Parkland shooting and under pressure from anti-gun activists and some of the most impressive teenagers America has seen in quite some time, a number of companies have been publicly severing their ties with the National Rifle Association.
One company, however, has stuck with the NRA for three decades: ad agency Ackerman McQueen.
Ackerman McQueen has been the NRA’s ad agency since the early 1980s, AdAge reported in 2013, “making it one of the longest-running collaborations in advertising history.” It counts as clients a handful of local organizations, including the Oklahoma City Ballet and the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum, and some larger brands, like the United Way. But “the NRA is easily the biggest — and likely most profitable — account on its roster.” And, in turn, Ackerman McQueen is the key player in the NRA’s media dominance.
With stories like this slowly leaking out, you know the folks at Ackerman have to be worried about the effect it will have on their business and clients. What if people threaten to boycott Ackerman unless they drop the NRA account???
I don't think Ackerman has anything to worry about in that regard. People may complain, but they've stuck by the NRA through years of criticism and controversy. And besides, how many Twitter users even need to hire an ad agency?
The real fear for Ackerman is what will happen if activists, groups and Russian trolls call to boycott all these businesses that use the services of the NRA's ad agency? Do you think places like Remington Park really want that association? Actually, I think half of all tribal casino patrons are also NRA members, so that's a bad example.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see what, if anything, will happen over this. And if something does happen, it will be even more interesting to see how the local Oklahoma City media avoids covering it. They never stop surprising us.
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