Jon Stewart realized that Koch Industries (of David and Charles Koch fame/infamy) had been running ads during the Daily Show, and, unsurprisingly, decided to address it. The ad isn't political, it highlights the company's work and the people working there. Many wondered if the ads were designed to counter negative reactions to the Kochs' political activity when they debuted in June. An executive at Koch Industries denied that in a Washington Post story last month.
Holden disputed that notion, saying the ads are aimed at spotlighting jobs available because of Koch’s continued growth. “We have not been impacted by the political attacks in our recruiting, hiring or retention, nor have our businesses been impacted,” he said.
Where the toll has been felt, Holden said, is personally by the Kochs, who have faced harassment from opponents, including death threats.
The vitriol has affected Koch Industries employees as well, Cohlmia said.
“The collateral damage is something important that should be spoken about,” she said, adding: “We know the family. We know the businesses. And they are very good people. So the effect of that on us as employees, it’s very hard.”
Those buying ad time for the commercial likely saw the Daily Show's young audience as a perfect one to reach out to. However, it was also inevitable that Stewart would address the ad at some point. He didn't just point it out on Wednesday, though — he offered ideas on how he thought the ad could be improved.
The lesson: Make sure that the content surrounding your ad buy doesn't disagree with you and have the ability to try and neutralize the effectiveness of your ad. Because they probably will.