Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The AdvoCare Pinocchio Comparison, It's A REAL STORY Now

During the recorded segment last night around 8pm, I did not push very hard in an interview with Paul Crane because during a discussion before the interview.  Paul stated he was going to make some sort of correction to this story during the 10pm news that included an apology for using the Pinocchio 'lying' video as a representation for AdvoCare officials.  Since that did not happen, I'm writing this post to more pointedly address these issues.  

Here is the report that thrust AdvoCare as Pinocchio into the local spotlight... 

Last night, while watching the 6:00 pm newscast to get our latest wintry weather warning, I caught Paul Crane's sportscast on channel 3.  Less than ten seconds into his report on the AdvoCare sponsorship of the Texas Bowl, he had already gone off the tracks with his facts.

Like I said, the facts disappeared right out of the chute.  There were three main parts of the report and each were just not true:

  1. "Remember last year when AdvoCare forced the Independence Bowl to change their name?"
  2. "They chose to not renew their contract because they were getting out of the football business and devoting all it's sports money to auto racing."
  3. "We've obtained exclusive footage of AdvoCare executives making their commitment to Texas Bowl officials.

I watched the report and then rewound it to watch it again to make sure what I had just seen was true. I shared my disbelief with Roy Lang of the Shreveport Times. At the same time, with the weather making a turn for the worse, I decided to drive out to KWKH and record the radio show that would play Wednesday morning, just in case the roads were impossible to navigate at 5am.

I placed a call to Paul at KTBS to let him know that I would be discussing his report as part of our recorded radio show.  I wanted to give him the opportunity to explain how and why he reported the story the way he did. 

RE: the first point-The AdvoCare group didn't "force" the Independence Bowl to change the name. When the bowl was named, "The AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl", most references to the game dropped "AdvoCare V100" and called it "The Independence Bowl."  That's not good for sponsor business.  The only way to rectify that, in my opinion, would be to make the bowl game's name and your sponsor one and the same. While some, including myself, would slip occasionally and refer to the game as it's former name, AdvoCare certainly had their name broadcast and printed more as the "Title" of the bowl game than when they were "just" the adjective for "Independence".

RE: the second point-I have no idea where this came from.  Yes, AdvoCare is a big sponsor in auto-racing, with their name affixed to not one, but two races in NASCAR's Sprint Cup  (The AdvoCare 500 in Atlanta on August 31st and during the Chase for the Sprint Cup, the AdvoCare 500 in Phoenix is the next to last race in determining a champion---they sponsored the same races in 2013). In addition, AdvoCare is a sponsor of 22-year old Trevor Bayne's ride in the Nationwide Series for 2014.  
(Correction: During my interview with Paul on the radio, i made a mistake and said AdvoCare was the sponsor at TMS last year and were being replaced by Duck Commander as title sponsor).
Richard Wright told me, "We said many times we will remain in college football and NASCAR and other things as well." 

RE: the third point-the use of Pinocchio as "AdvoCare executives" is just flat-out wrong. It's also skirting "libel and slander".  Crane said he regretted the use of Pinocchio in that regard, and on the phone prior to our radio interview, said he would not use that portion in his report at ten and apologize for his attempt at humor.  I watched the 10:00 pm sportscast and I didn't see a mention of the earlier report nor an apology to AdvoCare officials.  

Disclaimer: I spent nearly 15 years as the Sports Director for KTBS, ending my tenure last March 15th.  Paul was hired as Sports Director last summer. I hold absolutely no ill will toward KTBS nor Paul (I've only met him once, at Rotolo's, and he was polite and gracious).  I'm the one who asked for a schedule change so that I could spend more time with my family; they chose not to work with me on that request, so I departed.