Ad agency threatens to pull Kia money from media outlets over Bostick coverage

Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 10:05pm

An agency representing Carnival Kia, recently rebranded as Universal Kia, threatened to pull advertisements from local TV and radio outlets if they ran stories or mentioned the legal problems of owner Chris Bostick.

After hearing from employees at multiple outlets that their management had handcuffed them in reporting on Bostick or the KIA name change, The City Paper found that at least two of the four major TV stations in Nashville had been contacted by the agency in question. Bostick was indicted on misdemeanor domestic assault charges by a Williamson County grand jury in January.

Media outlets typically set up a wall between their business and news operations in order to prevent conflicts of interest in reporting. That wall appears to have been breached to some extent in relation to Universal Kia.

Insiders at one television station and one nationally owned radio chain say that their management either edited news copy or were told not to report on Bostick’s continued ownership stake in Universal Kia or all advertising would be pulled. This threat originally came from the advertising agency representing the Kia dealerships, Go Big Marketing of Orlando, Fla.

Through his attorney, Bostick said that the advertising agency had made such calls without his knowledge and that he “shut them down” as he did not agree with or approve of the practice.

Debbie Turner, general manager of WTVF NewsChannel 5, confirmed to The City Paper that an individual in her station’s marketing department received a verbal threat from the advertising agency and was told that a letter would be forthcoming restating the threat. Turner said it was brought to her attention.

Turner said her station would have ignored the written demand, noting, “We have lost advertising before because of news coverage and will likely have it happen again.”

Soon thereafter though, Turner said she was called by Bostick, who stated that he had not approved of what the advertising agency was trying to do, that he understood that it was inappropriate, and that no letter would be forthcoming. Turner said that in fact, no other communication on the matter was ever received and had it come in it would have remained on her desk, independent of the news operation.

Bostick currently is facing a number of legal issues, including his alleged assult of his wife Dessie late last year and divorce proceedings from her that were originally filed in 2009, but recently restarted after apparent failed reconciliation.

12 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 2/18/13 at 6:14

The media in this City, State, and Nation is very selective on using the wall of
separation between news and advertising and have for many years. If a story
fits their social and political agenda they use it no matter the wall. If not, then they
get the KIA Dealership treatment. It's Universal Kia money, and they can spend it
on advertising of their choice, in spite of the "we'll trash talk you, if you stop spending
with us" this situation implies.

By: sonny1024 on 2/18/13 at 7:27

The media does act like MR.BOSTICK is a major news story and in my opinion its not,He isn't the first or the last person to be charged with domestic assault its because he was on TV with his family and came across as a good family man and then the trouble with his wife and now their adding fuel to the fire with this story.Just move on to something else and let the guy work his family problems out.

By: rickmuz on 2/18/13 at 9:08

I find it hilarious that ANY "news" outlet actually has the balls to call themselves such. The days of REPORTING the news have long since given way to sensationalizing the news, interjecting personal bias and opinion into the news, and outright inaccurate reporting of the news in order to "one up" the competition that is doing the same exact thing. I miss Bernie Shaw, Walter Cronkite and the like. (yes I am showing my age)

By: rickmuz on 2/18/13 at 9:10

I agree with "sonny1024" as well. Tis has NEVER been news beyond the original spot the day it happened. And we all know the name change is part of a protection of assets for the impending divorce. Who cares?!!!

By: bobyounts@comca... on 2/19/13 at 8:35

...and please, don't you leave til you see me behind bars. Channel 4 is so desperate, they'll run an anti-Santa Claus story, try to disguise it as news, then promo it and air it again at 6 and 10. Someone will have to advise Channel 2 that there is a news story here, and Channel 17 will talk about it, IF, it's on a website somewhere. The local network affiliates have taken a lead from the networks and abandoned all serious news.
Today, Kardashians, the young British Royals, and cruise ships dominate the news. Anything "heavier" than that is lost on today's weak-minded viewers.

By: PKVol on 2/19/13 at 8:59

I thought businesses bought ads to promote its product, not to sustain the media. If a business doesn't want to pitch its product, I guess they have that option, but don't complain later when your business sours and you are forced to close.

What happened to the old adage that any publicity is good publicity?

By: pswindle on 2/19/13 at 10:27

Did you notice on TV that he and his wife were together holding hands? It was a couple fight that got out of hand.

By: Left-of-Local on 2/19/13 at 10:46

Bostick is a scumbag. And any marketing agency who ever allowed the stupid-ass self-ads he used to run with his annoying brats and cheesy production value is certainly not credible in any sense.

Shame on them for making his already-rotten situation worse, and for trying rape the 4th estate.

By: dargent7 on 2/19/13 at 2:52

I would never buy a KIA even before this. But, since his arrest, absolutely NOT.
KIA Universal? Kiddin' me?
She'll get the house, 50% of his money, and full custody of the kids.
Men who "loose" it and hit their wives since 1890 are dumb sh!ts.

By: govskeptic on 2/20/13 at 7:28

darge: Such anger must be gotten under control. Your new state of CA has too
many people, shootings, and financial woes to worry about KIA.

By: budlight on 2/20/13 at 8:50

Amen, Gov on the CA situation. And by the way D7, they probably will not divorce. They have marital problems and will solve them the adult way and not by running to a divorce lawyer like everyone else. The guy who is the Bladerunner really got wild and shot his girlfriend through a closed, locked door. The world does not need GUN control; it desperately needs SELF-CONTROL.

Obama is from the most unsafe city in the world and he wants us to listen to him. He's nuts. Just as soon as Chicago is safe, I'll listen to Obama. He's out of control. Playing golf and his wife taking filthy rich vacations at taxpayer expense should be written up on charges of squandering U.S. tax dollars. It's a shame he is so decadent. Oh well, he got some tips from Tiger Woods -- and probably on more than golf. Probably taught him how to cheat on his golf game, his taxes and his wife. Talk about hanging out with the wrong people. Obama surrounds himself with cheaters and crooks.

By: pepawjoe on 2/21/13 at 4:38

No more People's Government, No more People input. More Pay Raises, More Benefits, More Perks, More Exempting "OUR ELECTED PEOPLE". Government CUTS on People Issues, NO LOSSES FOR THE ELECTED INDIVIDUALS, Same old "DO NOTHING" and "GAIN MORE" for the "Elected Few, and Re-Elected Individuals.
Bought and Paid-For POLITICIANS thru PAC's and Party Hiearchies. Encluding the White House Residents.