As first reported by the New York Times, this week Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund launched a new six-figure ad campaign targeted toward “an unusual demographic for an organization that promotes stricter gun laws: card-carrying, dues-paying members of the National Rifle Association,” and urging them to “ditch” the NRA.
The ad campaign includes TV ads on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News, digital ads across the country, with a focus on Virginia, and battleground states, and a mobile billboard (seen below), which is traveling between the NRA’s headquarters in Fairfax and Capitol Hill. As part of the campaign, Everytown will also run digital ads around CPAC in Orlando, where NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre has appeared every year for the last two decades.
The ad campaign highlights revelations about extravagant spending and allegations of self dealing among the NRA and its senior executives, which led to a New York Attorney General investigation and lawsuit seeking to dissolve the NRA or levy severe financial penalties, and recently culminated in the NRA declaring bankruptcy.
The TV and digital ads highlight numerous instances of egregious spending by the NRA, including:
- Only 10% of what the NRA spends goes toward safety, education and training;
- The NRA spent more than $274,000 to purchase designer suits for CEO Wayne LaPierre from a Beverly Hills boutique;
- The NRA spent more than $243,000 on LaPierre trips to exotic locales like Hungry, Greece, and the Bahamas, spending millions more on private jet travel;
- LaPierre secured a post-employment golden parachute from the NRA, which will pay him at least $17.4 million even after he leaves the NRA; and
- The NRA continues to pay tens of millions a year to high-priced lawyers.
Everytown president John Feinblatt: “The message here is that N.R.A. members have been fleeced. When you do message testing with this kind of messaging, their approval ratings sink like a rock.”
Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts: “N.R.A. members pay dues for a whole variety of reasons. But none of them do it so Wayne LaPierre can use their money for expensive suits and flights on private jets.”