The Washington Post reports that an Oklahoma City advertising and PR firm, Ackerman McQueen, has been behind the NRA’s provocative ads for more than 30 years. The paper called it one of the longest collaborations in the history of advertising. Ackerman McQueen has managed the NRA's image, playing a pivotal role in its transformation from a sportsman's group to one of Washington's most powerful lobbying organizations. It has helped shaped a message rooted in uncompromising combativeness, securing its influence inside the NRA and reaping millions of dollars in contracts.
The agency's mission has perhaps never been more important than it is now. With the issue of gun control thrust back into the public spotlight by the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and Obama's repeated pleas for Congress to act on new regulations in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, the NRA is under attack again. As it has in other times of crisis for the organization, Ackerman McQueen is scripting a counteroffensive. Ackerman McQueen has also fought in the NRA's sometimes pitched internal turf battles, pollinated the group with its own people and earned tens of millions of dollars for its services. The agency has been instrumental in the rise of Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice president, as its public face.