The Mohu Leaf is a high-definition antenna designed to bring free over-the-air digital television into the homes of consumers who purchase one. However, Mohu Inc. says that its request to advertise the product on Time Warner Cable Systems in the Columbus OH and Kansas City MO DMAs has been turned down.
The 30-second spot includes content that is not music to an MSO’s ears. It lames the point that it is not necessary to subscribe to “expensive cable service to watch HD programs” and that “most top-rated shows are broadcast free, over the air in full high definition.”
The Leaf is said to be a “paper thin” device originally designed by Greenwave Scientific, and now adapted for consumer use. Mohu said the product is catching on and is hoping to move some product this holiday season.
“We are still excited about running a commercial to let people know about the Leaf and how you can receive full, uncompressed HD over the air now,” said Dr. Mark Buff, president of Mohu, Inc. “The top-20 rated shows on television are available free with no monthly bills. Of course we wanted to run the commercial on cable just like DirecTV or other satellite companies run their ads. And we thought we should have the right to.”
TWC told RBR-TVBR that they did indeed turn down the spot. A spokesperson said, “It is our general policy to not take ads that directly compete with our broadband, video and voice services. Therefore, the order was declined for competitive reasons. The creative was refused by our local market as well as other MSOs.”
RBR-TVBR observation: If it was us, we’d take the money that TWC and other MSOs are turning down and spend it on every competing medium we could get our hands on. The copy would start out: Here, ladies and gentlemen, is the message that your local MVPDs don’t want you to receive.”