Whirlpool asks Sen. Sherrod Brown to change new ad

Whirlpool Corp. officials asked U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s campaign to change a new television advertisement to make clear the company does not endorse him, the company confirmed Thursday.

Cleveland.com first reported Tuesday on the new ad, which features employees from Whirlpool's Clyde factory giving their support for the Democratic senator.

On Wednesday, Brown’s campaign uploaded a new version of the ad to YouTube. The new ad features a brief on-screen disclaimer noting, “this ad does not constitute an endorsement of Whirlpool Corporation.”

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“Whirlpool Corporation does not endorse candidates running for political office,” the company said in a statement. “When we first became aware of the ad, we requested that it be adjusted to make it clear.

“We looked further into the matter and confirmed portions of the ad that showed the Whirlpool facility were taken on public property and shots of the factory were from publicly available materials. We have also confirmed the individuals in the ad are indeed employees, all of whom volunteered to participate on their own time and show their support of Senator Brown’s leadership.”

The ad jokingly features pictures of Brown with adjectives describing his “rumpled,” “disheveled,” and “wrinkled” appearance.

“But we make washing machines and Sherrod Brown looks great to us,” says one employee in a red polo shirt with an embroidered Whirlpool logo. Four employees are featured in the ad.

“As Whirlpool stated, these are individual Whirlpool workers who support Sherrod and we’re proud to have them on our team,” said Preston Maddock, a Brown campaign spokesman.

With 9,800 Ohio employees, Whirlpool is the state’s fifth-largest manufacturer, according to the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association. The Michigan-based company has five Ohio factories.

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