Candidate, newspaper call off ad feud

Sunday, July 11, 2004

OKLAHOMA CITY — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bob Anthony signed an agreement July 8 promising not to feature the nameplates of the state's largest newspaper in his campaign ads.

In exchange, the Oklahoma Publishing Co., publisher of The Oklahoman, agreed to drop its lawsuit against Anthony and his campaign.

The ads in question featured articles from the inside of the newspaper on Anthony's opponent Kirk Humphreys. The articles were superimposed under the newspaper's trademarked front-page nameplate.

OPUBCO sued Anthony and his campaign last week in federal court to stop Anthony from running the ads. The company argued the ads violated copyright laws and gave viewers the false impression that the articles appeared on the front page of the newspaper.

Bill Shapard, Anthony's campaign manager, said the current round of television ads were slated to expire on July 13.

After that date, the ads will be modified to delete any use of The Oklahoman's nameplate, Anthony said. The candidate is not prohibited from showing headlines and stories appearing in The Oklahoman.

The agreement allows OPUBCO attorneys to sue Anthony again if he breaks the agreement and to recoup attorney fees if a new lawsuit is needed.

“We're pleased the Anthony campaign has agreed to quit using our nameplate in its ads,” said Ed Kelley, the newspaper's editor.

Anthony sees the agreement as a win for his campaign.

“We feel this was a victory for free speech and a victory for our campaign's ability to communicate our message,” he said.

On July 7, Anthony had said, “We need openness in the democratic process, and we don't need people trying to bully a candidate into pulling television ads which are based on facts and the truth and are put forth in an effort to inform the public. I'm standing on principle. I'm standing firm. I'm not pulling those ads.”