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Tampa Television Station To Resume Controversial Commercial

June 11, 1987

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ A television station has changed its mind about yanking a tire commercial spoofing fund-raising efforts by TV evangelist Oral Roberts.

The commercial featured a pitchman telling viewers he’s ″gotta sell 80,000 tires″ or he’ll die. WTVT pulled it off the air after receiving complaints.

Roberts recently raised $8 million after telling viewers that he might not live if he didn’t reach his goal.

″We reviewed the commercial and decided we may have overreacted when we took it off,″ Harry Apel, general manger of the station, said Tuesday.

But the commercial for Allied Discount Tires will be monitored and could be pulled again if there are more complaints, Apel said.

Another station, WTSP in nearby St. Petersburg, also pulled the ads, which stations across the state then broadcast on news program.

″Every other station in Central Florida is airing the advertisement about the 80,000 tires,″ Allied owner Stanley Hanin said, adding he hadn’t received any complaints from customers since the commercial started showing last week.

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