Etch A Sketch manufacturer Ohio Arts released a series of political ads claiming it doesn't take sides in American politics, capitalizing on the toys' recent surge into the spotlight.
According to Ad Week, one ad shows an American flag drawn on an Etch A Sketch with copy that reads, “We have a left knob and a right knob for each political party. (But remember, when both work together, we can do loop de loops).”
A second ad reads, "Politically we lean right down the middle."
An Ohio Arts spokesperson said sales of the toy are up 1,556 percent. The company reached out to ad agency Team Detroit to create a series of ads that would capitalize on the moment.
“But Etch A Sketch doesn’t take political sides,” Team Detroit told Ad Week in an email. “We believe that when the left hand and the right hand work together, magic happens. [These] ads were developed to convey that message.”
The iconic children's toy became part of the political narrative after Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior aide to Mitt Romney, compared the GOP frontrunner's campaign to an Etch A Sketch in an interview with CNN.
"Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign," Fehrnstrom said. "Everything changes. It's almost like an Etch a Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again."
Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich's campaigns immediately pounced on the gaffe and began passing out Etch A Sketches at campaign events.
"So here's Gov. Romney's staff, they don't even have the decency to wait until they get the nomination to explain to us how they'll sell us out, and I think having an Etch-a-Sketch as your campaign model, raises every doubt about where we're going," Gingrich said at one event as he held up the toy.
Santorum's campaign even tweeted a photo of the former Pennsylvania Senator "studying" Romney's policy positions on an Etch A Sketch.
The controversy swelled until Romney himself responded to the gaffe.
"Everybody’s going to make a gaffe now and again," Romney said. "I’ve certainly made my share of them, and I’m sure others will."
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