Do creepy anti-Obamacare ads defile an icon?

Featuring a bizarre Uncle Sam figure, the commercials are coming under fire from liberals as debasing a national figurehead.

By Aimee Picchi Sep 23, 2013 3:49PM

© Generation OpportunityHere's a tip for marketers: If you're seeking to sway public opinion, transforming a beloved national icon into a creepy pervert probably isn't the best tactic. 

Unfortunately for one self-described "free-thinking" group, it's created nightmare-inducing commercials that aim to persuade young people to skip signing up for health-care coverage via Obamacare.

While the staff of the group, Generation Opportunity, mostly appears to be in their 20s, it's bankrolled by brothers David and Charles Koch, who are both in their 70s and known for their ultra-conservative views. 

In one spot, a leering Uncle Sam pops up between the legs of a young woman seeking an gynecological exam, while in a second ad a young man is accosted by the same Uncle Sam figure, this time snapping on a latex glove to give him a rectal exam. 

The tagline is "Don't let government play doctor." But the commercials are so bad that they may backfire, causing young viewers to shrug them off as the worst kind of fear-mongering. 

For liberals, the Koch-bankrolled group has crossed a line by transforming the beloved national icon into something that might warrant a call to a sex-crimes unit, notes Advertising Age.

"Generation Opportunity's new online ad. . . not only defiles our American mascot but disturbingly compared the ACA to sexual assault," Ilyse Hogue, the president of pro-choice advocacy group NARAL, said in a statement. 

Salon called the ads a "new nadir" which reaches "the limits of decency."

To be sure, it's not clear how widely the ads will be seen, given that they're not pegged to run on TV. Currently, the spots are available on YouTube and will soon run on Hulu and Pandora (P), AdAge notes. 

And one person's sex offender is another person's humorous icon. Fox News, for one, called them "funny" and "hysterically creepy."

Whether the message persuades young Americans to give up health care coverage remains to be seen. In the meantime, the Koch brothers and their creepy Uncle Sam aren't offering any viable alternatives, and the Affordable Care Act's health-care exchanges will open for enrollment on Oct. 1.

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.

More on moneyNOW

Sep 23, 2013 6:50PM

My post is not about conservative or liberal. It's about ethical journalism. Journalists, if they are ethical, should report the facts without prejudice. A headline characterizing the adds as creepy attempts to sway the reader toward a point of view.


If you want to promote responsible, ethical journalism like this post and agree to boycott Bing and use Google.


BTW, same goes for Fox news. I'm just sick and tired of journalists thinking that the American public is so stupid and that they are so important as to form our opinions for us. Just report the news and let us decide for ourselves.

Sep 23, 2013 6:48PM

for every rich republican, there is at least one rich democrat trying to convince the masses that the rich democrats are on our side. everyone with wealth is on one team, the team of the back pocket and checkbook.


the democrats  convince us to buy their music, movies, etc. in the name of whatever cause they can attach their name to that keeps them in the spot-light and the gold flowing inward.


30 mill, 40 mill, 50 mill, or more for a house. you and I my friends are paying for all that and what we get in return does not feed, clothe, house and transport a single one of us.


I had rather line the pockets of the wealthy that are giving us something in return that fills real needs, not entertainment and what we a re supposed to think.

Sep 23, 2013 7:11PM
whole system's a joke.  dems want nothing more than to control every aspect of your life.  reps want nothing more than to control every aspect of your life - and then deny they are doing it and blame it on the dems.  'round and 'round she goes....

there is one party in this country.  the power party.  it is criminal what is going on but my genius countrymen are more worried about some idiot tv show or ball game.

whatever.  everyone stay the hell outta my way / life and I'll stay outta yours.

Sep 23, 2013 6:42PM
The bottom line is we have sold out all Americans in believing that the Government is going to be better at regulating health care.  That is what this is REGULATING HEALTH CARE.  The next step will be regulating your eating habits, drinking habits, sex habits, sleeping habits and it you do not comply it will cost you something.  For some strange reason the American public believes that government is all knowing, and is more capable of doing this than the private sector.  All I see is my wife and children have been stripped from my coverage.  My co pay is going from $30 to $50, my deductible is going from $1500 to $5000 and my half of monthly premiums are going from $250 to $560.  It appears that the insurance companies are just getting richer.  My doctors are fewer and fat cat politicians are getting their coverage at my expense.  This is just another disaster shoved down my throat and this commercial pretty much tells the truth.  Those that defend this crap I feel will be short lived and will blame it on someone else.  No one in Washington left, right or center is held accountable for this crap.  I know its Bush's fault.
Sep 23, 2013 7:13PM
Sep 23, 2013 6:24PM
I think they are funny as hell, plus they are telling you the truth, which always upsets the moronic liberals.
Sep 23, 2013 7:13PM

IT'S OBVIOUS............when the lying NBC obama propaganda machine tells you to join obamacare....DON"T....!!!  why do you think they exempted themselves and their buddies from obamacare....???   The nerve to exempt themselves and make YOU do criminal is that?  over half the country and 80% of doctors don't want it and yet you have NBC news and Obama trying to ram down everyones throat.

Sep 23, 2013 4:10PM
Anything bankrolled by David and Charles Koch is not for the good of the public but for personal profit.
Sep 23, 2013 4:32PM

When you are so selfish that you will do anything to get your way.  The Koch brothers will author mass confusion in the electorate, never run for office and not care what damage is done, because they live above that **** the blow back can not touch them. 


In effect, they live in a secluded America, were they would never see the faces of those that they injure.

Sep 23, 2013 6:37PM
Nothing ever changes. The rich want to keep the poor that way. They have to have someone to look down on. Otherwise they have to look at themselves.
Sep 23, 2013 7:26PM
But Obama's face on the US flag is fine? Hypocritical much?
Sep 23, 2013 7:20PM
Can an article be written any more biased than this? I believe MSN has reached a new low.
Sep 23, 2013 6:54PM
I'm neutral on the Affordable Healthcare Act. But who in their right mind thought this was going to do anything except kinda turn on weirdos? Also, how is the government playing doctor exactly?
Sep 23, 2013 7:19PM
So it's ok for Bloomberg to spend millions on top of millions to take away our second amendment rights but not ok for the Koch's to spend money to run TV ads? Only in liberal land.
Sep 23, 2013 4:18PM

When rich people use their money for evil intent.  They just have too much money and time on their hands. 


The "God of Money" rules the heart of the Koch brothers.  Long lost men that will not take a dime with them to the grave.

Sep 23, 2013 6:36PM
the Koch brothers wont quit until they put there evil fingers in everything, they are the same guys that bring you Scott Walker, need i say more?
Sep 23, 2013 4:37PM
Now we should see what these Koch Brothers 'AMERICANS FOR {THEIR} PROSPERIETY,' want to do with Social Security, and Medicare. PRIVATIZATION. They are bankrolling right wing, TEA PARTY politicians, such as Canadian born Cruz from Texas, and Lee from Utah, and heaven forbid he's elected, Lonegan in N.J. Hope those seniors, I see in the news at those Tea Party rally's, know what's in store for them if PRIVATIATION of Social Security occurs.
Sep 23, 2013 6:34PM
Being in their 70s the psychotic Koch brothers will be dead soon enough - they are the REAL creeps. 
Sep 23, 2013 6:28PM
''Here's a tip for marketers: If you're seeking to sway public opinion, transforming a beloved national icon into a creepy pervert probably isn't the best tactic. '' they do this because they themselves are creepy perverts.
Sep 23, 2013 7:26PM
Obamacare will defile America.
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