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Nice catch by Chris Cillizza over at the WaPo campaign blog. He has a screenshot of an online ad that slipped out early declaring McCain tonight’s debate winner. This is a strategy ripped right out of the Kerry 04 playbook, and it worked.

MSHC, the ad agency who designed and ran the "Kerry Won" online ad campaign in 2004 did a study that showed the people who saw the online ad – including Democrats, Republicans and Independents – all were more likely to believe that Kerry won, by statistically significant margins.

They’ve been talking about this study ever since to show how online ads actually do persuade people if they are done well (political issue groups take note: banner ads are not only good for building up your email lists, don’t let the TV and print ad buyers fool you).

The way the campaign works is, you put the ads live right after the debate ends when people are online reading about the debates in the news. This McCain ad slipped through too early, and it got caught at the Wall Street Journal.

Oops! I guess whoever is trafficking that ad over at the WSJ will have some explaining to do about the screwup.