This year, during a shortened sign-up period from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which administers Obamacare, says it would spend just $10 million in advertising — almost completely slashing the $100 million spent a year ago.
Elections this year will once again serve as a referendum on the Affordable Care Act and many Democrats are already distancing themselves in ads from the controversial health care law. The bumpy roll out of the federal health exchange website and the cancellations of millions of individual health care policies shook Democrats in tough races. Some of these Democrats are already on the air criticizing the law and saying changes are needed, although none have been rebellious enough to demand its repeal.
Advertising to publicize new mandatory health insurance could mean an extra $1 billion for TV stations over the next two years.
The television industry is anticipating an advertising bonanza related to the rollout of the federal health overhaul, with as much as $1 billion expected to be spent on ads by insurers alone, according a story in today’s Wall Street Journal. States are already running commercials to promote the online exchanges they are launching on Oct. 1 to allow people to buy coverage mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Insurance companies will also try to woo new customers shopping on those exchanges. TVB expects that about $700 million of the insurers’ ad spending will go to stations. WSJ subscribers can read the story here.
The Department of Health and Human Services has allotted the money to New York-based Weber Shandwick to publicize the new Affordable Care Act health insurance options available to consumers this fall in a campaign that will emphasize paid media and digital outreach.
Midterm elections aren’t until next year, but TV stations around the country are likely to see $500 million in politically themed advertising this year through early next year. The subject — or target in most cases — the Affordable Care Act.
Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group backed in part by Charles and David Koch, will begin running spots this week asserting that the law will limit Americans’ health care choices. Million-dollar-plus campaign will use broadcast and cable networks.
Obamacare, with its goal of insuring 30 million Americans, is on the way. In connection with it, insurance companies and others could generate an extra $1 billion in ad revenue for TV stations. Such categories with an inclination to spend locally don’t come along every day so broadcasters need to get up to speed and get up to speed fast. They need to identify the advertisers in their markets and get their foot in the door.