FEC OKs Wisconsin Auto Ads


Wisconsin broadcasters can breathe a little easier now that the Federal Election Commission has ruled that auto dealer The Russ Darrow Group can continue to advertise on radio and TV in the run-up to the November election.

The group has a number of dealerships in the state and the category is a bread-and-butter segment for local broadcasting.

Russ Darrow Jr. is a Republican primary candidate for Senate. Would radio and TV ads for the dealerships that mention the Darrow name be electioneering communications and thus banned in the run-up to the primary and  the election?, the company asked.

The Sept. 10 decision--the company asked the question back in July--came a little late for the primary, which is Tuesday, Sept. 14, though the company had continue to run the ads while seeking the ruling.
The FEC said they were not electioneering communications for a number of reasons, including that the proposed ads did not contain the picture or voice of the candidate, that the dealership has been for a decade associated with Darrow's son, Russ Darrow III, and that the ads refer to those dealerships, not the candidate.