“The Shady Bunch” is one of two campaign ads produced by Vision Media on behalf of North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco, and at the expense of his then-opponent Larry Wainstein, are up for national awards – though Wainstein is calling it “a cheap imitation.”
Vision Media Marketing Inc.’s two entries submitted to Campaigns and Elections magazine’s 2016 Stanley F. Reed Awards have both been named Finalists in their respective categories, the company announced in a news release this morning.
According to the event invite, “The Reed Awards, named after Campaigns & Elections founder Stanley Foster Reed, embody excellence in political campaigning, campaign management, political consulting and political design.” The event is being held on February 17th in Charleston, S.C.
The firm’s two submissions, “The Shady Bunch” in the Best Local TV Ad category and “La Gran Vida de los Ricos y Mentirosos” in the Best Spanish Language Direct Mail category were both attack ads that went after Wainstein.
The first, which is embedded above, went after Wainstein for the company he keeps with a 30-second song set to the beat of the classic “Brady Bunch” theme song, while the second called into question if Wainstein is truly a North Bergen resident.
“Drawing sharp contrasts between our clients and their opponents is one of our specialties and can be a vitally important part of a campaign,” said Paul Swibinski, the Vision Media president, in a statement.
“When those messages can be delivered with humor you have an even better chance of connecting with the voter and leaving a lasting impression, as both of these pieces clearly did. We are excited to see our work recognized like this and hope to bring home these awards in February.”
While the “Shady Bunch” ad received widespread praise throughout the tri-state area, it goes without saying that Wainstein and his supports weren’t exactly thrilled with it.
West New York attorney Mario Blanch, a longtime supporter and friend of Wainstein who is depicted and mentioned in the ad, almost immediately filed a defamation lawsuit against Sacco and Vision Media.
As only Hudson County View reported at the time, Blanch also accused Vision Media of ripping off a 2009 Republican attack ad by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) against Barack Obama.
In a text message this afternoon, Wainstein took a similar stance.
“It [the Shady Bunch ad] is nothing more than a cheap imitation by a second rate imposter attempting to pass off someone else’s work as his own,” he said.
” … The real award Swibinski should receive is a lifetime achievement award for being a political hack who earns millions of dollars a year on the backs of taxpayers, while many North Bergen families struggle to make ends meet.”
Phil Swibinski, Paul’s son and the vice president of Vision Media, essentially laughed off Wainstein’s criticisms.
“The fact that Larry is still getting this worked up over an ad from almost a year ago tells me two things — that he’s an incredibly sore loser and that the ad must have really hit the mark. Hopefully it leaves as big an impression on the voters at the Reed Awards.”
The 2009 Shady Bunch ad can be viewed here: