The Campaign Spot

Oregon: Relax! We Only Wasted $3.5 Million on Silly Ads!

Some days, you’re just ridiculous, PolitiFact.

Here’s the statement they’re fact-checking:

“Oregon is spending $10 million advertising Obamacare with ads that don’t even mention the program and how to enroll in it” and that don’t “mention the word ‘insurance.’”

Here’s one of the ads, so you can judge for yourself:

Here’s another:

And here’s another:

If you don’t feel like watching any of the musical ads, none use the term “insurance” and mostly say “live long” or “be healthy.” In the closing seconds, the commercials show a URL and phone number, but that’s stretching the definition of “how to enroll in it” — particularly when the commercial looks like it could be for Oregon tourism, announcing some band’s new album, or promoting a mildly hallucinogenic drug.

PolitiFact offers a lengthy history of the Oregon ads. But the two key sentences are:

Coburn is correct that it’s not there. But Ray adds important context in noting that the ads were early and part of a campaign designed to morph from general to specific.

The intent of the ads doesn’t make Coburn’s statement that they don’t mention insurance any less accurate.

PolitiFact also disputes the $10 million figure, arguing that the television ads were only $3.5 million; separate funds were spent on other costs, including “Spanish-language spots, information fliers and fact sheets.” This is a fairer gripe, but it’s not much of a defense of CoverOregon; instead of wasting $10 million on ads that look like music videos or 1960s Saturday morning cartoons, they wasted $3.5 million.

Naturally, PolitiFact rates Coburn’s statement “mostly false.”