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Station Says It Acted in Haste

June 10, 1987

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ A television station plans to resume broadcasting a tire commercial featuring a pitchman who tells viewers he’s ″gotta sell 80,000 tires″ or he’ll die.

WTVT originally had pulled the Allied Discount Tires commercial, which spoofs recent fund-raising efforts by TV evangelist Oral Roberts, said General Manager Harry Apel.

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

But he said he told Allied owner Stanley Hanin that the station planned to monitor public reaction and might yank the commercial again if there were complaints.

Roberts recently raised $8 million after telling viewers that God might call him home if he didn’t reach his goal.

Another station, WTSP in St. Petersburg also pulled the ads, which were then broadcast by stations across Florida to show viewers what they were missing.

″Every other station in Central Florida is airing the advertisement about the 80,000 tires,″ Hanin said, adding that he hadn’t received any customer complaints since the commercial hit the air last week.

The commercial was made by Sam Behr, an Orlando shoe salesman and spokesman for the tire company for eight years, who works without a script.

″I just say what comes off the top of my head,″ he said.

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