Friday, October 14, 2005

Boeing on "West Wing" Good Publicity

From the Seattle Times:
"On Sunday evening, several minutes of the popular NBC series "The West Wing" were devoted to praising the Boeing-built C-17 cargo plane.

It is a crucial time for Boeing: Its hopes to build a tanker based on its 767 commercial jet hangs on an secret analysis of alternatives for upgrading the tanker fleet that is now being passed around the Pentagon.

The outcome could determine how long Boeing builds 767s in Everett. Boeing officials worked with the Defense Department and the Air Force last month on "The West Wing" scene at their Long Beach, Calif., plant, in part because the company felt it would be a good morale booster.

"We got a call about two weeks before they were ready to shoot," said Rick Sanford, a Boeing spokesman. "West Wing" producers had seen news clips of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger visiting the plant. They needed a location for one of their characters, played by actor Jimmy Smits, to make a "whistle-stop" on his fictional campaign for president.

Smits was filmed emerging from a shiny C-17.

"This is a great example of how we can strengthen national security and strengthen our economy at the same time," his character said, adding, "The C-17 is our most advanced military cargo plane."

It was a lobbyist's dream, both a defense and economics pitch for Boeing. "We were very happy with the script," Sanford said.

Boeing was so delighted, it donated the $10,000 location fee from "West Wing" to the Red Cross."

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