For those who don't recall, back in 1988, when Bush accepted the Republican presidential nomination, he famously declared, "Read my lips: No new taxes," and made the pledge a central part of his campaign. Two years later, Bush agreed to a budget compromise with Congress that raised several taxes in place. And in 1992, Bush lost the election to Democrat Bill Clinton.
Earlier this week, Bush's infamous comment was evoked when Hastings took to his Facebook (FB) page in an attempt to alleviate subscriber fears about commercials or other kinds of advertisements appearing on his video-streaming company's programming.
"No advertising coming onto Netflix. Period," Hastings said. "Just adding relevant cool trailers for other Netflix content you are likely to love."
Hastings might be trying to appeal to Netflix's subscribers, who pay from $7.99 to $11.99 a month in the U.S. to watch the upcoming new season of Orange Is The New Black and movies like Apocalypse Now commercial free. But with its content-acquisition costs continuing to rise, a question remains about whether Hastings' "no advertising" pledge is one that should be etched in stone.
"They certainly have no immediate plans" for ads, said Laura Martin of Needham & Co. "But forever is too long a promise to make."
By selling its offerings as a solely subscriber-supported service, Netflix has been able to position itself as the online alternative to Time Warner's (TWX) HBO, which is also commercial free and debuted its own Internet-based video service, HBO Now, in April.