Fox News reports on a
Dean Hrbacek appears slimmer than usual in a new campaign brochure because a photo of his head was affixed to the image of a different body.
While the mailer sent to voters this week by the former
mayor says "Dean's record speaks for itself," his physique clearly does not. Sugar Land
The picture, presented as a true image of the candidate, is a computerized composite of Hrbacek's face and someone else's slimmer figure, in suit and tie, from neck to kneecaps.
Campaign manager Scott Broschart acknowledged the image is a fake. Hrbacek has been so busy meeting voters that he had no time to take a full-length, genuine photo for the political mailing, Broschart said.
So Hrbacek's campaign put the headless body with the candidate's head.
"He may appreciate that we took a few pounds off him," Broschart said. "I think the voters ... are more concerned with the issues as opposed to pretty photo shoots."
Actually, Scott, they’re concerned with both. An audience will let you get away with best-foot-forward tactics in your advertising, as long as what they’re seeing is somewhat authentic. You can have the photographer adjust the lighting. You can have the candidate shave right before the photo shoot. You even can put him in a suit that hides a few pounds. But use the ol’ head/body switcheroo, and voters are going to start wondering what other tricks you're using to deceive them.
Advertising on its own doesn’t win elections, but advertising that creates PR problems sure doesn’t help. In trying to make Hrbacek look like The Biggest Loser in his brochure, his campaign may have just ensured that he’ll be a big loser in the March primary.
Bonus coverage: the Lone Star Times has a close up of the less-than-stellar PhotoShop work that started the big fat controversy.