Buy Political Ads Now, While Supplies Last!

Posted by & filed under 2012 Election, An Independent Viewpoint, Political Advertising, Swing Voters, The IVA Angle

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Consider this message a Public Service Announcement to candidates for office around the country – Act fast! Campaign ad space across television and the internet is selling out fast, and at a premium price, months in advance before the November election.

TV stations in swing states like Ohio, New Hampshire, Michigan, have already seen a huge boost in revenue, and the new few months should be very profitable:

All those campaigns could turn into a cash bonanza for [Michigan] television stations that very well could exceed $100 million, said Rich Robinson, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, which tracks campaign spending.

“I have to think that broadcasters are licking their chops,” he said. “It’s going to be something to behold.”

And in addition to campaign ad spending, record amounts of independent expenditures in 2012 will provide an extra boost in revenue to TV broadcast companies, as well as cable and satellite providers. As Bloomberg has reported, super PACs will have to pay a premium for ad space this fall:

“Come September and October, when Romney and President Barack Obama, House and Senate candidates and dozens of outside political groups will be demanding ad space, super-PACs can expect stations to begin charging what Democratic media consultant Peter Fenn calls “super-gouge rates” of as much as four times what candidates pay.

“Stations are rabid for this money,” said Kip Cassino, research director of Borrell Associates, which tracks the television industry and is based in Williamsburg, Virginia. “The super-PACs are like a kid with money burning a hole in their pocket.”

 TV isn’t the only medium where ad space is selling out fast, internet advertising, especially online video ads, are selling out months in advance, as Politico reported yesterday:
“The ads in question are those 15- and 30-second spots that automatically play before videos on YouTube, Yahoo, AOL and other sites — and they’re either sold out in some markets or will be auctioned off at record prices, insiders tell POLITICO.

“There has been incredibly strong demand for online video advertising inventory in targeted states, so there is virtually no 30-second inventory left for the fall,” said Rob Saliterman, head of Republican advertising outreach for Google, which owns YouTube. Campaigns are “buying it up for September and October and the first week of November.”

While search and display ad space is still available, and more video ad space is released as it becomes available, it’s going to cost political campaigns a steeper price in 2012:
“By late October, consultants predict, available space could cost more than $50 per 1,000 impressions, three times the norm, in battleground states like Florida, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia…
‘The TV ad inventory has been bought up and there’s only so much direct mail you can send, so the campaigns have to put their money somewhere and the only thing left to purchase is the online space,’ said Jim Walsh, CEO of DSPolitical, a firm that places targeted Web ads for candidates both as pre-roll as well as embedded in banner ads.”
While this is all good news for TV stations, providers, advertisers, consultants, and the internet economy, it unfortunately means that as voters, we’ll all be inundated with more political attack ads through this November. Independent voters, especially those of you in swing states – strap on your seat belts and get ready to be targeted and persuaded!

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