It's two seconds too short! That is what lawyers for Minnesota Senate hopeful Al Franken are saying about the disclaimer on a Norm Coleman for Senate ad. The Franken lawyers sent a letter to station managers airing this ad.
In order to get the lowest cost for political ad time candidates need to have their likeness displayed for four seconds and in their own voices say who they are and indicate they approve of the ad. Coleman's written disclaimer is there for four seconds, but his image only appears for two. The letter asks stations to act on their own.
"Your station should refuse to run additional advertisements from Coleman or his campaign or his political committee unless paid at the rate your station charges for comparable use by other non-political advertisers."
NPR's Peter Overby tells me that the FCC doesn't have a reputation for acting on these types of claims, especially if it isn't a pervasive problem. The Coleman camp emailed the following statement:
"There's no question about who sponsored and approved this ad. This is yet another desperate attempt by Al Franken to distract from his breaking of tax law in 18 states, his breaking of workers' compensation law in New York, his degrading humor, and his pornographic writings."
Follow up questions to the Coleman camp asking if they plan to take down the ad or modify it have gone unanswered.