July 1994 Home   Newsletters

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October 1994

President's Message (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Astrid Monson Recipient of Achievement Award (Jackie Parnell)
Candidates in Focus (Jean Aoki)
Makakilo Candidates' Forum
In Memoriam
OCCC Voter Registration
Ad Watch (Arlene Ellis)
Education: A U.S. Gold Medal in Math
Education Committee Meets (Marion Saunders)
New Member Orientation Video
New National League Publications
Time for Women, A
Hawaii Lawyers Care Receives Grant
Letter to the Editor (Carol Odo)

Ad Watch

Bob Jones of KGMB is fronted by his "Ad Watchers" Annie Kim, Arlene Ellis and Pearl Johnson.

The "Truth Squad" Committee has been busy evaluating TV and print ads over the past three weeks. The first Ad Watch Report was aired over KGMB Channel-9 on Wednesday, July 27 and Thursday, July 28 during the 6:00 PM news.

The Committee viewed and evaluated 16 TV ads for the first report. We found that nine out of sixteen TV ads screened were wholly or mostly testimonials that assumed that if the viewers believed in the speakers they would also believe in the candidates.

On seven of the ads the candidates speak directly to the viewers. Even though staged and rehearsed, the viewers did get a personal introduction to the candidate in this format.

Two ads are different. It takes the viewer several seconds before realizing they are political ads. One simulates a news report and the other is an aerial view of Honolulu with "bullets" enumerating city services. Both have a voice-over with a message.

In the interest of time, the first Ad Watch Report was split into two nights. On Wednesday, the report dealt with the political ads of the mayoral candidates - Gill, Morgado, Harris and O'Conner. Parts of the TV ads were shown with the Committee's conclusion given on each ad including questions.

The Ad Watch Report continued on Thursday with an examination of the political ads of the gubernatorial candidates. The format was the same.

The "Truth Squad" concluded that in the first two weeks up to July 21, political ads for the most part dealt with an introduction of the candidates to the viewers - who they are, what they did, their dreams and visions, and the intangible qualities of character and leadership they have. The committee found these to be legitimate concerns and that voters need this background information. However, no one in their early ads talked about specific issues with any substance, other than touching indirectly on the broad issue of restoring public confidence in elected officials.

Since most of the political ads that were aired were reruns we addressed in our first report, we limited our second report to the nine ads we evaluated from July 22 to July 29. They cover three gubernatorial candidates' ads and one mayoral. The ads continue to be "feel good" images and testimonials. We hope the focus will be on specifics in the following weeks.

The goal of the Ad Watch Report is to encourage the involvement of people in making intelligent choices on election day. Our hope is that the political ads will improve soon with candidates identifying the issues that are of most concern to the voters; that they will clearly tell the voters where they stand on the issues and finally, enumerating solutions to the problems addressed.

Jean Aoki and Pearl Johnson sift through political print ads for the "Ad Watch Report.

"Truth Squad" members take a breather from the rigors of evaluating political advertisements. They are from, left to right: Arlene Ellis, Helen Grffith, Lynn Matusow and Evelyn Bender.

Arlene Ellis

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