"The more I look at it today" said the Houston advertising man, "the more it looks like an A for against."

Which was too bad, as his Texas clients had just sponsored and Omaha newspaper advertisement lambasting Sen. Edward Zorinski (D-Neb.) for voting for the first Panama Canal treaty.

In today's editions, they were sponsoring another ad correcting it. In the Senate cliffhanger last month, Zorinsky voted against the treaty.

Ads attacking senators who actually supported the treaty have been placed in Phoenix, Tucson, Oklahoma City, Portland, Oregon, and Helena, Mont., said Joe McHale of Schey Advertising in Houston. After discovering the Omaha blooper, he said, the other five were checked, and "everything's fine there."

The half-page Nebraska ad began: "What's the deal, Senator Zorinsky? Why are you completely ignoring the wishes of the great majority of your constituents by advocating the giveaway of the Panama Canal?"

A handwritten roll-call vote list was supplied by an unidentified Senate source, and McHale said, "It looked like an 'F' [For] by Zorinsky's name."

The ad was paid for by the Committee of Tax-Weary and Concerned Americans. Houstonian Anne Bassett, who has Gulf port shipping interests, was identified as director.

There are four other committee members, McHale said. Houston newspaper sources said two of them had been associated with conservative causes in the Houston area. They were identified as Mrs. Willard Hedrick and John Daniels.

Zorinsky called the ad "irresponsible." His office in Omaha said most of the calls it received about the mistake recognized it.

The ad, which cost $1,404, was killed after the morning editions of the Omaha World-Herald. The group was to run a corrective ad of the same size and cost today.

"Only in America could I have $2,808 in free advertising that spells my name correctly," Zorinsky said.