LAFAYETTE – A decision by Comcast Corp. to ban commercials touting firearms and ammunition has left some Indiana gun store owners searching for new ways to advertise their products.
Rick Oliver, who owns the Lafayette-area gun store Haleys Lodge, said hes been told the stores TV ads will no longer be accepted. Oliver said hes confused by the ban but plans on shifting his TV advertising budget to radio and print because Comcast is the Lafayette-areas only local cable provider.
Ive been running TV ads for 30 years. But if they dont want my money, Ill take it elsewhere, he told the Journal & Courier for a Friday story.
Oliver also said hes stopped running TV ads for his second business, Haleys Lock, Safe & Keys, on principle.
Chris Ellis, a spokesman for Comcast Spotlight – Comcasts advertising sales division – said the decision to ban such commercials was made earlier this year after Comcast finalized its purchase of NBC Universal.
Consistent with long-standing NBC policies, Comcast Spotlight has decided it will not accept new advertising for firearms or weapons moving forward, he said.
Gun control advocates are pleased with Comcasts decision and hope other influential media businesses will follow suit. Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications already have restrictions on certain types of weapons ads.
This is a really brave move for Comcast, and I give them a standing ovation, said Julia Chester, Midwest regional coordinator for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Advertising has such a huge impact on public opinion, and were really at a tipping point in the gun violence conversation, she said.
But Greg Hasek, manager at Four Guns in Lafayette, said the ban on gun advertisements is singling out one industry. He noted that there are widespread advertisements for alcohol, which can lead to drunken driving deaths.
There are so many things that can harm people if they let it, Hasek said. Buffets are so unhealthy they can lead to death by obesity complications. Are we going to stop advertising buffets?