Matthes Ad (designed by Neatherlin) to Be Pulled from Cable

Tim MatthesThe Kitsap Sun has requested a campaign ad for Tim Matthes, Republican candidate for South Kitsap Commissioner, be pulled from cable television stations, where it has been running for the past couple of days.
The ad begins with a Kitsap Sun logo and the title of a letter to the editor, “County Government: We’re in Trouble,” by Marion Larm of Poulsbo
Deb Smith, director of marketing for the Kitsap Sun, called Matthes earlier today asking him to pull the ad because it uses the Kitsap Sun logo without permission. Smith cited another ad she saw that used the title of a letter to the editor by Vivian Henderson, director of the Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners. Matthes is a member and past president of KAPO.
“By juxtaposing headlines from letters to the editor and using voice-over with our logo, the commercial improperly attributes their opinions to us,” said Smith in an e-mail.
Matthes said the ad was designed and submitted to the station by Randy Neatherlin, Republican candidate for the 35th District. Matthes said he was unaware he had done anything wrong in approving the ad.
“My intent is to take everything off there, at least the offending portions,” said Matthes. “I’m going to change it. I have to modify it and take anything off that has to do with the Kitsap Sun.”
On Friday afternoon, Matthes was trying to contact Neatherlin and also an attorney to see what the law says about campaign ads.
Managing editor Jeff Brody said clearly Matthes is not entitled to use the Kitsap Sun logo without permission. The only time that would be appropriate is if the Kitsap Sun had actually endorsed a candidate, Brody said.
Democratic candidate Monty Mahan received the endorsement of the Kitsap Sun’s editorial board over the past weekend.
Neatherlin, contacted later in the day, was surprised at the Kitsap Sun’s objection to the ad, material for which he pulled from the Kitsap Sun Web site
Neatherlin, a business owner whose “sideline” is making advertisements for other candidates, said use of newspaper headlines in campaign ads is a routine practice. He has used it before and never run into problems, he said.
Neatherlin apparently did not differentiate between headlines on articles and editorial titles. “From everything I understand, it’s 100 percent legal,” he said. “It’s common practice for political ads.”
Neatherlin said he would not speak for Matthes, but would defer to his wishes on the matter.
A note on the photo above: Matthes submitted this campaign photo to the Kitsap Sun. It shows the candidate seated at a table with the Kitsap County logo in the background. Matthes is a member of the county’s board of equalization.

5 thoughts on “Matthes Ad (designed by Neatherlin) to Be Pulled from Cable

  1. I am surprised that Matthes would think that his photo is appropriate. It’s on his website, too, not labeled as to his current position, just using the words “Hard at work for you.” It appears to be using the Kitsap County logo in a way that might be deceptive.
    I suppose that it might be legal, just not fair and appropriate. Sometimes there is a difference.

  2. The Sun is doing a little attack ad of their own. Newspapers and magazines are used in advertisement of candidates all the time. Candidates from both sides in the same race do it. I see those type of adds everywhere.
    The Editor of the Sun writes the headlines. The letter writer has no control over it. It is obvious that they just don’t like Matthes. Nobody thinks the Kitsap Sun endorses Matthes. If they did it would be the kiss of death.

    The Kitsap Sun would stop trying to make news and just report it.

  3. Anyone who believes newspapers do not have political agendas should take a serious look at the Kitsap Sun’s coverage of the Josh Brown-Jack Hamilton race two years ago.

  4. Cean, I can see your perspective, but the logo is the symbol of the county in which he is running for a position. The U.S. flag and the Washington state flag are also there. Is that deceptive?

    I didn’t see the ad (I have no TV), but if it didn’t say the content was in a letter to the editor, I support the Sun’s position. If it did, then I would think it absolutely normal to indicate which paper printed the letter.

    I don’t think the Kitsap Sun editorial board has a political agenda, but a few of the members apparently do. There are some whose votes for a candidates endorsement can be predetermined.

    Everyone has leanings to one wall or another. A few sit on one wall or another.

  5. I’ve been noticing for several days now that the “Most E-mailed News” has been a letter to the editor with the headline: “Dalton Most Qualified for Judge”. The letter certainly doesn’t have anything abnormal or interesting about it. It seems someone keeps E-mailing this item so the headline keeps appearing starkly on the right side of the Sun’s home page. Maybe that’s clever and cheap campaign publicity, but it seems a bit sneaky or cheap for someone running to be a judge.

    It also seems odd or hypocritical that the Sun would allow this more blatant implication of a Sun’s endorsement on their own web page while having a TV ad pulled because Matthes used the Sun’s logo while also referring to a letter to the editor.

    Does political bias play a part in the Sun’s scrutiny?

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