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National site, local ads

What better place to troll for money from liberal – relatively speaking anyway – Virginians than The New York Times?

That appears to be the thinking of Common Sense Virginia, a state political action committee that is sponsoring The Real Bob Mcdonnell Web site.

Visitors to The Times Web site from Virginia are likely to encounter a banner ad at the top of the page asking whether Bob McDonnell works for Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson or Virginia voters. The message rolls to assert that McDonnell opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest and supports spending tax dollars on private school vouchers.

Clicking on the ad provides more anti-McDonnell material with links explaining who is behind it. The site gets no points for sublety.

Yoni Cohen, the contact for the PAC, said it has purchased ads on more than 200 Web sites, many of them women-specific, including Web sites that would appear to have only a tangential Virginia connection.

But that’s the beauty of online marketing, according to Cohen and a Google spokeswoman.

It’s possible to display the ads aimed at Virginians only to visitors with Internet service provider numbers in Virginia through what Google calls geo-targeting.

So get used to seeing ads for — and against — political candidates from Virginia wherever you go on the Web, just as they will soon seem to appear on every television show.

By Alan Cooper

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