The conservative Eagle Publishing is offering advertisers the "unprecedented" chance to sponsor the newsletter of Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
In the May/June issue of its company brochure, Eagle Publishing writes that "On May 11, Newt Gingrich made his much-anticipated announcement that he will seek the Republican nomination for president. Beyond its political implications, this presents an unprecedented opportunity for advertisers looking to sponsor the Newt Gingrich Letter, the free e-letter published only by Human Events."
Eagle Publishing adds: "With the increased level of media attention Newt will now receive, the Newt Gingrich Letter will draw even more engaged conservatives looking to keep up with the candidates. Sponsorship of the Newt Gingrich Letter is the only opportunity in the conservative marketplace where you can directly align your brand with a presidential candidate. Get in on the action now before slots sell out!"
From the brochure:
On its website, Eagle Publishing also offers "samples of our advertising opportunities" with the Newt Gingrich Letter and touts the "opportunity to build a strong connection with a true conservative powerhouse" by sponsoring content on the newsletter. The company illustrated "Premium advertising positions" as looking like this:
Eagle Publishing publishes the Newt Gingrich Letter along with RedState.com and HumanEvents.com, where Gingrich's letter is posted every Wednesday. Despite his May 11 announcement, Gingrich has continued to issue his newsletter every Wednesday under his name. Eagle Publishing describes itself as "America's leading source of books, periodicals, and websites with a conservative, free-enterprise focus." The company owns Regnery Publishing, which specializes in publishing conservative authors like Gingrich.
Eagle Publishing also offers sponsorships of newsletters for Ann Coulter and Erick Erickson's RedState.com, among others. Politico's Ben Smith reported today that an account executive for the company recently offered conservatives the opportunity to buy Erickson's "endorsement." Smith wrote:
"Erick Erickson's reputation along with his rising profile, combine to make RedState the most influential conservative blog on Capitol Hill and across America," writes the account executive, Chris McIntyre, in a form email forwarded to POLITICO by two surprised conservatives. "Why not put Erick's influence to work for your organization?"
Erickson said in an email that he hadn't seen the solicitation before it went out, and Joe Guerriero, the Vice President and group publisher at the Human Events Group who handles RedState called it "the stupidest thing I've ever seen."
"We had a salesman send something he shouldn't," he said.
The program the salesman described, Guerriero said, wasn't intended for political campaigns, but for "a handful of [conservative] organizations that have expressed an interest and that Erick feels strongly about."
"Rush does this for Heritage, Hannity does it for Hillsdale [College], Mark Levin does it for Hillsdale," he said, saying the program was intended for endorsements of respected conservative causes and institutions that Erickson already supports.
In the email, McIntyre goes on to offer a "new RedState Endorsement Program" which includes both traditional sponsorship features -- like sponsorship of a morning email and hosted advertising -- and a much less traditional one, described as:
Erick's Video Endorsement (subject to final approval by Erick)
On RedState.com, Erickson wrote of the account executive's sales pitch:
Just to start it off, no, my endorsements are not for sale.
I don't know who the guy is who sent the email, but he certainly did RedState no favors.
About two months ago, Hillsdale College approached me to see if I'd be willing to promote their townhall event. I was glad to. The project was a success and we subsequently followed it up with the Heritage Foundation. We've been approached by a few others I didn't much care for and I have declined to help. I guess the sales team decided to take the ball and run with it.
A sales guy at Eagle sent out an email, which you can read below the fold, which neither I nor my boss at Eagle saw before it was sent out. It all but says my endorsement is for sale. It is not.
The focus of these ad campaigns are for conservative organizations I support and am glad to help, never for candidates or groups I don't much care for. In fact, a certain Presidential candidate asked me to do one for an ancillary project and wanted me to use the word "endorse," which I would not do.
The Huffington Post's Sam Stein reported today that the "account executive who sent out an email offering to sell to the right bidder the endorsement of RedState.com's Erick Erickson has been 'disciplined,' a top official with the company tells The Huffington Post."
Requests for comment to Eagle Publishing were not returned by posting time.