An ad from the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA has been pulled off YouTube at the request of the International Olympic Committee on copyright violation grounds, and the group has voluntarily taken the ad offline and will not be running it on television.
The U.S. Olympic Committee is asking all candidates and outside groups not to use footage from past Olympics in their ads.
The Priorities ad used footage of Mitt Romney from the 2002 Salt Lake City Games’ opening ceremony to suggest that the former Massachusetts governor loves sending jobs and money to other countries.
“The Olympic Games are a celebration of friendship, excellence and respect,” said USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky in a statement. “While we are absolutely confident that neither presidential candidate nor campaign has participated in the production or distribution of these negative ads, the attacks, using Olympic themes and images, need to stop.”
Priorities USA is not protesting the decision.
“Once we were assured that Mitt Romney and his allies would be held to the same standard, we were glad to take the ad down from our Web site,” said Priorities spokesman Bill Burton. “Go Team USA!”
The committee will ask for any ads using Olympic footage, positive or negative, to be taken down.
The pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future has been planning an ad campaign during the Games that might have also used footage from Salt Lake City. So while a Democratic group was dinged, the USOC verdict could throw a wrench into Romney and his allies’ plans too.