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Political ads swallow local TV air time

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Political campaign spending on local television is likely to hit $1.6 billion in this election cycle, says trade mag Broadcasting & Cable.

That means, as I’ve posted earlier, viewers will be subjected to waves and waves of attack ads. But what is this ad blitz’s impact on local commerce? Says B&C:

[The $1.6 billion] exceeds initial forecasts of $1.4 billion and approaches the $1.61 billion spent in 2004, a presidential-election year. “Candidates may have more money to spend than there is time to buy,” says Evan Tracey, COO of CMAG. [emphasis added]

With competitive races for Congress in 32 states and gubernatorial races in 22 states, the political advertising is sucking up air time right and left (okay, okay, it’s a bad pun …). And the political spending is tightly focused on TV. Says B&C:

Even as campaigns shift some money to cable and the Internet, broadcast remains the prime media buy, commanding 70%-85% of a media budget. “You need to maximize your eyeballs inside of a very intense selling period,” says CMAG’s Tracey. “If the idea is to drive message and drive turnout, broadcast is still the best option available.”

If you’re a local merchant, or a national advertiser who buys local TV time to help franchises, how do you deal with the suddenly rare opportunity to advertise on local TV? True, it’s only for a month or so, but how does this complicate marketing plans (if it does)?

What about 2007? 2008?

Broadcasters are already looking to 2007 and 2008 and the presidential election. Candidates will try to make a mark in early-primary and swing states, such as New Hampshire, South Carolina and Ohio, as early as first quarter 2007.

I’m curious as to how local and national advertisers this year and the next two will handle the nearly sold-out local TV time as the next two or three Novembers approach.

Any thoughts?


Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

October 3, 2006 at 12:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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