Koch Brothers Launch Ads Touting Their Company After Attacks

Tuesday, 10 Jun 2014 10:29 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Energy giant Koch Industries is launching a national ad campaign to bolster its image as its billionaire conservative founders Charles and David Koch come under fire from liberals for bankrolling Republicans in the midterm elections.

Called "Koch: From the Heart," the first commercial will air Wednesday and touts the fact that the company has created thousands of jobs all over the United States.

"We started in the Heartland and expanded to nearly every state," say the 30-second and 60-second TV spots. "Today that means more than 60,000 American jobs."

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Steve Lombardo, Koch’s communications and marketing chief, said the goal of the seven-month campaign is to "tell a story about who we are" to business owners and potential employees, as well as to local communities where the company has factories, according to Advertising Age.

"We have seen in the last three to four years an increase in competition for talent," Lombardo said. "We're often competing against more well-known companies because they're almost always publicly traded. It benefits us if people have a better understanding of who Koch is."

The new campaign comes amid attacks from Democrats like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who called the Koch brothers "un-American" and poured scorn on them for contributing to climate change.The Nevada senator has also claimed that the "oil tycoons" are attempting to win the elections for the GOP by funneling money to Republican candidates, committees, and causes through the advocacy group they founded, Americans for Prosperity.

The Koch brothers, who do not appear in the new ads, have suggested that the company’s brand may be taking a battering from the personal attacks on them, according to Advertising Age.

But recently they have pushed back against the "collectivists who engage in character assassination" with an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, saying that they are fighting for "a free society."

As part of their bid to possibly silence their critics, the Koch brothers recently donated $25 million to United Negro College Fund.

Lombardo said the company’s campaign also includes a push for more "earned" media, which will "continue to complement this ad effort in terms of informing and helping to recruit."

Asked specifically whether, the promotional hype was intended to distance the corporate brand from the company’s founders, Lombardo avoided the question, saying that the effort was "to help people with their understanding of the breadth and scope of goods and services our companies provide."

Koch Industries, which includes packaged-goods company Georgia Pacific that produces Brawny and Dixie brands, was the second-largest private company in 2013 with $115 billion in revenue, according to Forbes, which estimates the brothers' net worth at $40 billion each, according to Advertising Age.

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