Entries in Commercial (2)


Fracking Group Buys Ads to Run in Front of Matt Damon's “Promised Land”

Jonathan Leibson/WireImage/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When the new movie Promised Land featuring Matt Damon opened in theaters around the country on Friday, viewers in one state may be surprised by what they see: a commercial from the natural gas industry.

The movie, written by Damon and John Krasinski, is a fictional account of a Pennsylvania town grappling with whether to allow natural gas drilling, known as hydraulic fracturing or "fracking." The gas drilling process has been controversial among environmental groups.

Fracking crews blast sand, water and chemicals into the rock to draw out previously unreachable deposits of oil and gas. Proponents argue that the U.S.'s ability to draw fuel from the country's vast shale deposits has the potential to turn America into an energy giant that could rival OPEC. Critics, however, argue that fracking threatens to pollute water supplies, foul the air and poses a health threat to people.

In response to the movie's release, a gas industry trade group called the Marcellus Shale Coalition has released a 15-second commercial that will run before the movie in about 75 percent of movie theaters in Pennsylvania, according to Travis Windle, a spokesman for the group.

The coalition represents drilling companies and manufacturers that produce drilling equipment, Windle said. The group decided to run the ad spot because they felt the film was "a purely fictional movie that is in no way, shape, or form reflective of how the natural gas industry deals with land owners."

In the movie, Damon plays a gas company executive and Krasinski plays an environmental activist battling to win over the allegiance of landowners. The film focuses on potential environmental risks of fracking.

The ad suggests that viewers who have questions about the drilling process look for answers on the group's website, Learn About Shale.

"Recognizing that this purely fictional Hollywood film would increase focus on our industry, which supports 240,000 jobs in our state, we said, how about we do in-theater promotions of this website where some folks may have additional questions," Windle said.

"So it's just 15 seconds, a reminder to folks that if you have questions, we recognize and appreciate and understand that many folks in the region have questions despite the long history of drilling in Pennsylvania," he said.

The group has also compiled negative film reviews culled from critics who "widely panned the movie," Windle said. The reviews were provided to ABC News.

Windle noted that the ad will run for two weeks in theaters only in Pennsylvania because that is where the group is based.

James Schamus, the chief executive of Focus Features, the studio that produced the film, called the coalition's actions "propaganda."

"To be honest, if I could afford the kind of propaganda specialists the fracking industry has sent after our little movie...They're pretty impressive at what they do," Schamus said in a statement to ABC News. "Gus (Van Sant), Matt (Damon), and John (Krasinski) made a wonderful and entertaining film about what happens when big money collides with small town values, so I suppose we should have seen this coming."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


NTSB Aims to Ban Cellphone Use by Commercial Drivers

Medioimages/Photodisc(WASHINGTON) -- In the moments before his tractor-trailer veered across the median on Interstate 65 in Kentucky, the 45-year-old driver of the big rig was on the phone.

The truck slammed into an oncoming passenger van, killing both drivers and nine other people traveling in the van. Two children in the van, who were in child seats, survived the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board said the March 2010 accident was the worst highway crash to occur in Kentucky in a generation.  The NTSB Tuesday recommended a ban on the use of cellphones by all commercial drivers.

The proposal is the most comprehensive ban on hand-held and hands-free devices that the board has issued. The NTSB, which cannot require a ban, sent its recommendation to both the states and the federal government.  

If enacted, the ban would affect 3.7 million drivers, according to the NTSB. “Changing behavior can start right now, for drivers of big rigs, but also for the rest of us,” NTSB Board Chairman Deborah Hersman said. “When you are at the wheel, driving safely should be your only focus.

“I can tell you that commercial vehicle drivers are not going to embrace this,” Hersman added, “but we are not here to be popular.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the real challenge with all cellphone bans is enforcement. And the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) suggests that a ban put in place by companies, not the government, would be met with more success. Both groups say any ban on mobile devices will be more effective if drivers know their jobs are dependent on not using phones while they drive.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio