When you have to fill 24 hours a day of airspace with nothing but your Senate campaign, as does former Hawaii Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, who became the first candidate in history to create an entire cable network dedicated to her campaign, you need to produce a lot of content. So perhaps it should be forgiven if her new ad bears a striking resemblance to a John Hancock mutual fund ad from 2010.
The new ad portrays an older man sitting silently in a coffee shop screen-left with a laptop, chatting with his wife over instant messenger. The text of their conversation appears on the right side of the screen. The man says he’s worried about Social Security and Medicare. He and his wife agree that Lingle is the best candidate to deal with the programs, as Democratic challenger Mazie Hirono “gets nothing done.”
The John Hancock ad, meanwhile, portrays an older man sitting silently in a coffee shop screen-left with a laptop, chatting with his wife over instant messenger. The text of their conversation appears on the right side of the screen. The couple expresses concern about their retirement, before a title card for the company appears on-screen with a narrator saying “the future is yours.”
The Hirono campaign sent the ads to Salon, saying John Hancock’s ad “clearly (ahem) ‘inspires’ Republican Linda Lingle’s.” The Lingle campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.
Here’s the Lingle ad:
And the John Hancock one:
Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at email@example.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.