ICYMI: Day 2: Criticism Mounts On Sen. Burr Ad Using Stock Video Of African Students In Appeal to North Carolina Black Voters



Friday, August 26, 2016

CONTACT: Matt Kravitz, 919.438.1836

or mkravitz@ncdp.org


ICYMI: Day 2: Criticism Mounts On Sen. Burr Ad Using Stock Video Of African Students In Appeal to North Carolina Black Voters

“Needless mistake”… “Not exactly the best outreach” … “Biggest stock video fail of 2016”

RALEIGH, N.C. – For the second day running, criticism is mounting on Sen. Richard Burr’s campaign for its first advertisement. The ad is a thinly veiled attempt to distract from Burr’s record of putting special interests ahead of North Carolina children and families, but it doesn’t even include children from the state – instead, Burr’s ad uses stock footage of children from Africa.

A roundup of the coverage:


MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes (Click to watch)








Greensboro News & Record and Winston-Salem Journal: Sen. Richard Burr campaign runs ad targeting African Americans, shows video of kids in Africa

The video cuts to a lovely shot of uniformed children in a classroom, focused and scribbling on their papers. The message is clear: Burr is a politician the state’s growing African American community can trust.

Except the children in the picture aren’t from North Carolina. Or anywhere close to it.

A Google Image search shows these children can be found in two separate Getty Image stock videos marked “Africa” or “Non-US Location.” (It also says “African American Ethnicity,” which could be how the videographer found it, since these videos are largely categorized and found by keywords.)


Washington Post: A senator’s ad targeting African Americans a reminder of the perils of stock footage

But this was also a needless mistake at a time when Burr can’t afford to make too many. A Monmouth University poll released Wednesday shows the race is within the margin of error despite 71 percent of the electorate not having an opinion of Ross, suggesting she could be within reach with Hillary Clinton’s coattails.


Indy Week: In a New Ad, Richard Burr Loves (the Wrong) Black People

In other words, someone on his communications team saved a few bucks shopping on iStock rather than sending a cameraman out to film actual North Carolina kids. Embarrassing? Maybe. Big deal? No. Sloppy? Yes. Funny? Absolutely. And, more important, maybe not exactly the best outreach to the local African-American population.


I Agree To See: Sen. Richard Burr Uses Stock Video From Africa in African-American Outreach

However, Senator Richard Burr from North Carolina may have won the biggest stock video fail of 2016. In an effort to reach out to African American voters in his state, his latest ad “Kirby” features stock images from a school in Africa – not North Carolina.


Talking Points Memo: Senator’s Outreach Ad To Black Voters Appears To Use Stock Video From Africa

The Burr campaign released a comment as well as referred questions about the ad to its maker, Doug McAuliffe, who told TPM that the ad company used stock video because it was not able to shoot B-roll of students in Pastor Kirby’s program. According to McAuliffe, he was sensitive about ensuring that Kirby’s group’s tax exempt status was not put in jeopardy by being a part of a political ad.



The North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) is the North Carolina affiliate of the Democratic Party. NCDP works to elect Democratic public officials, encourages North Carolinians to become involved in Democratic politics, and fights for equality, opportunity and prosperity for all North Carolinians.