Wednesday, March 21, 2007Via Guardian UK:
WASHINGTON (AP) - The mystery creator of the Orwellian YouTube ad against Hillary Rodham Clinton is a Democratic operative who worked for a digital consulting firm with ties to rival Sen. Barack Obama. Philip de Vellis, a strategist with Blue State Digital, acknowledged in an interview with The Associated Press that he was the creator of the video, which portrayed Clinton as a Big Brother figure and urged support for Obama's presidential campaign. De Vellis, 33, said he resigned from the firm on Wednesday after he learned that he was about to be unmasked by the HuffingtonPost.com., a liberal news and opinion Internet site.A watershed moment in political advertising? Perhaps, if only because it's a great example of what happens when Web 2.0 meets the Law of Unintended Consequences - an individual supporter of a candidate might do more harm than good by releasing a homebrewed "viral marketing" ad with the best of intentions.
Blue State designed Obama's Web site and one of the firm's founding members, Joe Rospars, took a leave from the company to work as Obama's director of new media. The connection to the campaign is likely to be a setback for Obama, who has cultivated an image as politician who wants to rise above bare-knuckle politics. "It's true ... yeah, it's me," de Vellis said Wednesday evening. He said he produced the ad outside of work and that neither Blue State nor the Obama campaign was aware of his role in the ad. "But it raises some eyebrows, so I thought it best that I resign and not put them in that position."
Thomas Gensemer, the managing director of Blue State Digital, said de Vellis was fired.
More at SFGate.com and the Huffington Post.