Perry, Romney on the attack in online ads

October 20, 2011 5:00:31 PM PDT
Mitt Romney and Rick Perry's animosity from Tuesday's debate is spilling over to the web. Romney says Thursday he was forced to pull one scathing political ad aimed at Perry after it crossed the line. But don't be fooled -- taking it offline may actually attract a larger crowd.


Video: Rick Perry political ad, 'Romney Misleading'

Video: Mitt Romney web video, 'Is Perry ready to lead?'


T.J. Johnson says he doesn't know anything about how political ads are made. He runs Third Planet, a comic book and collectible shop on Houston's Southwest Freeway. And what he does know is what happens when you pull something off the market.

A few years ago, Death Row Marv created a sensation. It was an action figure strapped to an electric chair that was pulled from shelves after controversy. Before being pulled, it cost $25. And after?

"They were going for 50,60 bucks as fast as I could sell them," Johnson said.

The point is that the forbidden fruit is always a little sweeter.

"I googled it immediately," said Nancy Sims, a marketing and public affairs guru at Houston's Pierpont Communications.

Sims couldn't wait to see Romney's ad when we told her the campaign pulled it.

"I don't think Mitt Romney should be embarrassed at all. There were some pretty bright consultants behind this process," Sims said.

Romney's team says they pulled the ad questioning Perry's readiness to lead after CNN objected to anchors being used.

"I am certain CNN asked them to take it down. It's a boost for Romney," said Sims.

Romney's ad certainly got more press than Perry's new offering, which is still running, repeating claims Romney is a health care flip-flopper and immigration hypocrite.

It may just prove that selling political figures and action figures a lot more similar than T.J. Johnson realizes.

"More valuable. To this day you still can't find them hardly at all," Johnson said about the action figures that were pulled.

When we asked Johnson if people stopped looking for them, he replied, "No."

On matters of substance, the ads stick to well-covered ground. Perry says Romney wants to roll out his health care plan to the nation and can't get his story straight on immigration. Romney shows Perry's bumbling debates and says he's not ready to take on President Obama.

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