Pols raise level of TV campaign ads
AP - With control of Congress at stake, politicians are aggressively taking to the airwaves. Through mid-October, the number of television campaign commercials was up 31 percent compared to the same period four years ago, a report released Thursday found.
Nielsen Monitor-Plus counted 942,900 political ads running between August 1 and Oct. 15. That doesn't even take into account the last week before the Nov. 7 election, when advertising is at its heaviest.
"We don't see anything to suggest the trend is not going to continue," said Brian Lane, senior vice president at Nielsen Monitor-Plus.
The biggest factor in the number of ads going up is the spending by the national party organizations, with Democrats sensing they could seize control of the House and maybe the Senate during the midterm elections and Republicans playing defense.
Together, the Republican and Democratic national committees paid for more than 110,000 TV ads through Oct. 15. During the same period four years ago, they ran under 50,000 ads.
Democrats are also being more aggressive in their spending this time. The Republican National Committee placed 10,000 more ads four years ago than their Democratic counterparts; this year the Republican edge was only 2,000.
Ballot initiatives have also led to ad spending increases; the Los Angeles and San Francisco markets stood out as two of the three cities that saw the highest number of ads. Among the ballot initiatives being considered in California is one that would quadruple the cigarette tax.
The market with the most ads during this period, however, was Tampa-St. Petersburg in Florida, with a total of 19,730, the company said.
By a significant margin, two politicians placed the most ads: Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist, the GOP candidate for governor (21,214 ads) and Dick DeVos, the Republican candidate for Michigan governor (20,093).
The political ads are a windfall for local television stations. More than 95 percent of the ads were placed on local stations, as opposed to national networks, Nielsen Monitor-Plus said.
Last edited by motivez; 11-03-2006 at 04:17 AM..