Joe Biden Says Campaign Is Stopping Ads During 9/11 Anniversary; Donald Trump Campaign Still Running Spots

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden greets Vice President Mike Pence at the 19th anniversary ceremony in observance of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Amr Alfiky/The New York Times via AP, Pool

Joe Biden said that his campaign is suspending advertising on Friday for the 9/11 anniversary.

“I’m not going to make any news today,” Biden told reporters. “I’m not going to talk about anything other than 9/11. We took all our advertising down. It’s a solemn day.”

A Donald Trump campaign official said that they are still running their spot on the “Great American Comeback.”

Even as the Biden campaign said that they were suspending advertising, there were reports of spots still running in swing states. The Trump campaign official identified more than a dozen instances when Biden ads ran from midnight through 10 AM ET in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida.

A Biden campaign source said that their intention has been to suspend advertising on Friday. The airing of spots was inadvertent and they are reaching out to affiliate stations for an explanation and remedy, the source said.

John Link, VP of sales and marketing for the research firm Advertising Analytics, said via email that the questions surrounding the Biden ads “could very well lie in the semantics.”

He said that the broadcast industry standard is for each broadcast day to start at 5 AM, with the morning hours before that considered a day earlier. According to their records, Link said, there was a “definable stop” in the Biden spots at 5 AM.

“There have been 7 spots that aired after that 5a threshold, but they are most assuredly just trafficking errors on the part of those stations,” Link said. “If it were anything more than that, there would be a much higher occurrence of additional airings.”

Trump gave a speech in Friday morning in Shanksville, PA, the site of the Flight 93 Memorial. Biden plans to visit later in the day. He also attended a commemoration in New York at the 9/11 Memorial, where he gave an elbow bump to Vice President Mike Pence and they spoke briefly.

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