Adwatch: Fung ad attacks Block

The first attack ad in the campaign for Rhode Island governor has hit the air.

Allan Fung takes on Ken Block.

The ad is all about making fun of Block and fictional backers, showing people with cube-shaped heads and the tag line "Don't be a Blockhead."

There's no mention of the ad's sponsor, Allan Fung, or the Republican Party. It chides Block for trying to help out the Chafee administration.

"I think that it might actually help Block in the sense that it looks like he tried to reach out, tried to help, despite the errors of the Chafee administration," said Kay Israel, a professor of communications at Rhode Island College.

But mostly, Israel finds the promotion of a negative ad this early in the campaign surprising.

"The question in my mind is, I can't figure out the timing," Israel said. "It just doesn't make sense. The commercial itself doesn't give you a single reason to vote for Fung."

Israel said negative ads usually mean a candidate is either polling badly or running low on money.

"If I were Ken Block, I'd sort of be happy. I'd use it as a sign that things are going well that my opponent is so concerned that he's now attacking me early in the summer," Israel said.

We'll learn down the road if he's right about the status of the Fung campaign.