Shenna Bellows, Democratic candidate for Senate, is taking flak for her campaigns use of an out-of-state actor in a commercial. Although the ad talks about supporting Maine workers, Phil Harriman, columnist for the Portland Press Herald, points out that the hardhat-wearing actor in the commercial actually comes from stock footage.
The Maine Republican Party is asking, why Bellows didn’t choose actual Maine workers?
From Harriman’s Agree to Disagree column:
Shenna Bellows released a new television ad on Friday. In it she discusses the need for raising the minimum wage and increasing social security. Throughout the ad she has images of adults and kids standing in front of what is perhaps a family home in Hancock, then she has a couple of pictures of the elderly, and then a nice shot of a good looking guy in a warehouse. Here’s the guy in the warehouse:
All very nice and heartfelt, but take a closer look at that guy. Doesn’t he seem a bit too perfect? A bit too handsome? A bit too much like an actor?
Well, that’s because he is. Apparently, Bellow’s media consultants used “stock” video produced by a company from Oregon that hires actors to film scenes for them that they in turn sell to companies making ads. Here’s a still from stock video (note that it says “iStockvideo”):
Of course, most campaigns spend cash outside the state of Maine. And Bellows probably isn’t the only Maine candidate guilty of using out-of-state actors or actresses. But for a campaign that has focused, with varying degrees of success, on authenticity and Maine culture, this a big blunder.