The Washington Post

Reagan footage replaced in GW hospital ad

Loop fans might recall that TV ad by George Washington Hospital earlier this summer that used some out-of-context footage of former President Reagan. Thanks to one of our eagle-eyed readers, we reported that the slick video meant to promote the hospital juxtaposed images of the aftermath of the assassination attempt on former President Ronald Reagan with an image of the Reagans waving from a hospital window — only the footage was shot at the naval hospital, not GW.

After we pointed it out, GW replaced the footage, after blaming incorrectly labelled B-roll and the ad company the hospital hired. The new, more historically accurate, ad swaps in footage of Reagan at the White House in the aftermath of the shooting, wearing a red cardigan (under which it was reported he was wearing a bulletproof vest), his arm around his wife, waving.

Now that’s what we call truth in advertising.

But like a bad penny, the old ad has resurfaced. A Loop fan spotted the original spot — with its misleading imagery — running on local ABC affiliate WJLA last weekend, and contacted Contrast Creative, the advertising agency that created it. Contrast Creative replied that they, in turn, had contacted WJLA.

“Instead of running the revised historically accurate commercial on 9/2, they mistakenly ran the old commercial,” the ad company told the viewer. “With your help, this has been corrected. You should now be seeing the revised commercial going forward.”

Perhaps we should chalk that up to winning one for (accuracy about) the Gipper.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.



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Emily Heil · September 5, 2013

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