updated 3/8/2004 11:43:08 AM ET 2004-03-08T16:43:08

A conservative group headed by one of former President Clinton’s harshest critics is airing an ad that pokes fun at presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry’s haircut, designer clothing and property holdings.

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Citizens United, headed by former Republican congressional aide David Bossie, began airing the ad — a parody of MasterCard’s “priceless” commercials — on cable and broadcast channels Sunday in select presidential battleground states.

The ad shows Kerry, boats at a marina and oceanfront property as an announcers says: “Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. Hairstyle by Christophe’s $75. Designer shirts: $250. Forty-two foot luxury yacht: $1 million. Four lavish mansions and beachfront estate: Over $30 million.”

'Priceless'
Another shot is of Kerry and Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., with the words: “Another rich, liberal elitist from Massachusetts who claims he’s a man of the people. Priceless.”

It’s the start of what the group says will be a months long advertising effort leading to November that’s designed to counter ads critical of President Bush.

“The vitriol that’s being used by the left in their hatred of the president — and the man himself — seems to come through in their ads,” Bossie said. “We wanted to counter that.”

In 2000, MasterCard International Inc., filed a $5 million corporate lawsuit against Green Party candidate Ralph Nader for his parody ad of the “priceless” commercial campaign. In September 2000, a federal judge in New York rejected an effort by MasterCard to stop the Nader ad.

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