Republican candidate for Texas Attorney General Dan Branch is airing a new television ad that uses NBC 5 news footage.
The ad shows anchor Bianca Castro reading a news report about Branch’s opponent, Ken Paxton.
On Friday, the NBC legal department sent a formal letter to Branch campaign manager Enrique Marquez which reads:
Dear Mr. Marquez:
It has come to our attention that Texans for Dan Branch has produced a television commercial, which it intends to broadcast on television throughout the state of Texas, that features extensive use of a copyrighted KXAS report and includes the voice and likeness KXAS anchor Bianca Castro. In fact, with the exception of two seconds of music at the beginning, the entire audio track of the commercial consists of the KXAS report. This use has been made without permission of KXAS or Ms. Castro, and the manner in which this material is used and the extent of the material taken inaccurately suggests that KXAS and Ms. Castro have consented to its use an agree with the position espoused by the commercial. Aside from the copyright issues, this is use of the voice of Ms. Castro and the KXAS logo exploits her and the journalistic credibility of KXAS.
KXAS objects to any use of its journalists and our copyrighted material that suggests to the public that we or our journalists are taking sides with any individual or organization involved in a political campaign or dispute, and we request that your organization respect that concern. Accordingly, we request that you immediately cease any further dissemination of the commercial consisting almost entirely of the KXAS report.
Very truly yours,
David N. Sternlicht
NBC Vice President, Media Law
Because the ad is placed by a political candidate NBC 5 is prohibited by law from censoring the commercial.