Comcast Spotlight, the local sales arm of the cable giant, will no longer accept ads for guns. And no, the policy change has nothing to do with the ongoing gun violence debate in Washington.
In a statement, Comcast said it decided this month it would adopt the advertising guidelines used by NBCUniversal, which will not accept ads for weapons or fireworks. (Last week, the cable giant announced it would acquire the 49 percent of NBCU it didn't own for $16.7 billion.)
NBC's ad policy, last updated in June 2012, reads: "NBC does not accept advertisements for weapons or fireworks. Commercials that include weapons or fireworks as props will be approved on a case-by-case basis."
News of the policy change was reported by the local ABC affiliate in Flint, Mich. Williams Gun Sight Co. was outraged that its 30-second spot could no longer run on cable.
A Comcast spokesperson didn't know how long the NBC policy banning ads for firearms and weapons had been in place at NBC. "It's a long-standing policy," the spokesman said.
Other networks, including Fox and ESPN, have similar policies against accepting ads for firearms.
Even though Comcast and other networks may not be airing spots for guns, it's a sure bet there will still be plenty of issue and advocacy ads broadcast around the gun violence debate.