Normally, when a government or a political party has something to announce, it's carried out on the record, with much fanfare, flag backdrops and so on. Then, when someone on the same team dissents, it usually comes off the record -- "a senior source," or a "well-placed person," etc.
The Conservative ads seem to be a current exception to the rule. They were announced, notoriously, off the record by a couple of fellows from the PMO on temporary leave.
The ads are being criticized, however, on the record, by Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod.