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Cyber Safety PSA Called into Question

May 19th, 2009 by flanews

A two million dollar public service announcement featuring Floridas Attorney General and Gubernatorial hopeful Bill McCollum has Democrats in an uproar. The PSA was taken off the air Friday. McCollum announced his campaign for Governor two days later. As Whitney Ray tells us, Democrats say McCollum is using taxpayer money to promote his political career.

Attorney General Bill McCollum is staking his career on keeping Florida kids safe from online predators. McCollum spent two million state dollars to produce and air a public service announcement to inform parents about cyber safety.

The PSA began running in different parts of the state in October. It stopped playing Friday, just two days before McCollum announced he would run for governor. Democrat opponent Alex Sink calls the timing of the PSA is interesting.

Attorney General Spokeswoman Sandi Copes said the PSA has nothing to do with McCollums political aspirations.

The timing is addressed in the contract. It was for a contracted length of time that was addressed several months ago, said Copes.

The Florida Democrats said the PSA looks too much like a campaign ad.

Cyber safety experts have called us because they say these ads are the least effective they have ever seen, because they air a politician not an expert, said Eric Jotkoff.

The Attorney Generals Office said the PSA has driven thousands of Floridians to their website, where tips can be found about how to keep kids safe from predators. The Attorney Generals Office said the ad triples the amount of traffic to its cyber safety website in areas where it plays.

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