Knowing Mitt Romney would secure the Republican nomination for president with a win in the Texas primary on May 29, Planned Parenthood planned the roll-out of its anti-Romney ad campaign for May 30.

Here is how ad campaigns like this are supposed to work:

  1. A special interest group makes a video
  2. The group makes a small ad buy
  3. The group makes a big PR splash
  4. The group hopes it will get lots of earned (free) media and that its video will go viral

Planned Parenthood’s #2 should read:

2. The group makes a small ad buy and lies and says it made a big ad buy

More on that later.

The problem for Planned Parenthood was it knew Live Action’s video exposé on sex selective abortions was coming but didn’t know when.

Any day would have been a bad day for Live Action to release its first video, but May 29 was the worst day possible.

PR clash

Oh, to have been a pepto-pink fly on the wall in Planned Parenthood’s corporate headquarters on May 29, when its think tank had a huge decision to make.

Should they proceed with their ad launch the next day, or wait? They knew Live Action’s video would suck oxygen from their video as well as from earned media. Instead of discussing Romney, Cecile Richards and surrogates would get stuck talking about the repulsive topic of sex selection abortions.

Obviously, Planned Parenthood decided to go. It’s possible wheels were already too far in motion to stop. It’s also possible Planned Parenthood thought it might be able to turn the tables and take oxygen away from Live Action.

At any rate, I expect that’s why Cecile Richards’ voice was hoarse on May 30.

Dick Morris speculated on Fox News that Live Action purposefully planned its video release for the day preceding Planned Parenthood’s campaign launch, adding that he thought Planned Parenthood’s support of Obama would actually be unhelpful…


What Morris said:

The latest Gallup poll shows for the first time that more people are pro-life than pro-choice, by a good margin. It was 50 pro-life. 41 pro-choice, right? And that’s significant. So the ad starts off with the 41, and that’s not so bad, you know, you may find some extra votes in there, but you have to consider it in the context of the other shoe that dropped yesterday [Live Action’s video]….

I think that the release will be far more important than the ad. The ad isn’t going to run in a lot of states. They’re putting only, I think, about a million behind it, they say, and it’s in one or two states. But the fact that Planned Parenthood was literally advising someone on an abort – to get an abortion for sex change or for sex selection… is just incredible. It’s outrageous. Over 80% of the American people would oppose that. It’s just the kind of thing that makes the pro-choicers uneasy and the pro-lifers outraged. And for Planned Parenthood to inject itself into the race with this out there is a very unfortunate coincidence for Obama.

Of course, it’s not coincidence, I’ll bet that the group that released that video waited until Planned Parenthood did its thing and then dropped the bomb. But it is a bomb.

I can tell you Live Action had no idea. The perfect timing of its release is what we call a “Godincidence.”

It has now been a week since Live Action released its video. And as NewsBusters reports, to date not one of the big three television networks has aired any mention of it, which is particularly glaring in light of the attention they gave to the Planned Parenthood/Komen flak.

Still, the Live Action investigation got coverage on Fox and CNN and in print journalism around the globe.

Meanwhile, Obama’s favorability rating among women continues to plummet.

And as to which videos are going viral? The numbers tell the story. While Live Action’s first investigative video has received almost 290,000 views, and its second over 40,000, Planned Parenthood’s anti-Romney had has only been viewed 27,000 times, and worse, Planned Parenthood’s endorsement of Romney has received a paltry 4,691 views. Click to enlarge…

Little pink lies

As to the amount of money Planned Parenthood will spend on its anti-Romney campaign, the New York Times reported it will be $1.4 million,, “one of its biggest-ever political advertising campaigns,” adding the amount “represents a threefold increase over the group’s total spending during the 2008 campaign.”

Really? In 2008, Planned Parenthood promised to spend $10 million on the presidential race. So if my math is correct, Planned Parenthood was admitting in the NYT piece it spent less than $500,000.

(Another example of Planned Parenthood’s little pink lies: In 2002 Illinois Planned Parenthood promised to spend $1 million on the governor’s race in support of Rod Blagojevich but actually spent only $67,500.)

At any rate, $1.4 million is really not that much, to wit: The ad is running in only three markets: West Palm Beach, Florida, Des Moines, Iowa, and the Washington, D.C. area, for a total of three weeks.

[Top photo via Jezebel]

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