Pro-troops ads decried as propaganda

Troops_3New pro-bono “support the troops” ads by DeVito/Verdi are getting a pasting from some ad executives who see them as partisan propaganda. “I feel the war propaganda machine,” Paul Venables of Venables, Bell & Partners tells the San Francisco Chronicle. “They may feel like they have hit it. I can see the puppet strings.” The campaign, created for the U.S. Department of Defense and the Ad Council, uses the slogan “America supports you,” and sends readers to a DoD Web site,, that has been up for a year and a half and is devoted to support for the U.S. military. Venables and others see political motives behind the effort. Ellis Verdi defends the campaign. “We approached this very carefully,” he tells the Chronicle. “You can have whatever viewpoint about the war that you want. In fact, we have a few different ones at the agency. It’s irrelevant. What’s important is that these are 18-year-old human beings, Americans, who are under stress.” Peggy Conlon of the Ad Council also argues that the ads are nonpartisan.

—Posted by Tim Nudd