Political Ads Expected To Explode

The U.S. economy is in free fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, but political advertising is expected to reach new heights because of it. A new, joint report from the ad tracking firm Advertising Analytics and analytics company Cross Screen Media projects that the total ad spending on the 2020 election cycle will reach $6.7 billion, up 12 percent over their initial $6 billion projection for the cycle. The new projection is a result, in part, of “the lack of face-to-face campaigning driving higher shares of budgets to paid media.”

COMMENTARY

How Biden Can Beat Trump From His Basement

Lis Smith: If he can win the battle for our screens, he can benefit from the death of the traditional presidential campaign. Democrats should use the media to highlight Biden’s empathy and position him as the presidential warm blanket that a scarred America will need.

Dems Reserve $1M In Anti-McConnell Ads

The Democratic-aligned Ditch Mitch Fund announced on Tuesday that it is reserving $1 million in TV ads against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ahead of the November election. “Today we are making an initial down payment on the campaign our grassroots movement will be funding against Mitch McConnell this year,” Ryan Aquilina, the executive director of the Ditch Mitch Fund, said.

Higher Viewing Offers Political Ad Opportunities

A TVB analysis shows the coronavirus pandemic has substantially increased levels of broadcast TV viewership, especially among adults 35+.

Political Advertising Sees Slowdown

Political advertising — for individual candidates, political action committees and other areas — has been lower over the last few weeks, but political marketers are still buying messaging on key platforms. Donald J. Trump For President Inc. has spent $1.4 million from March 22 through March 28 on Facebook and Google (with some 8,600 creatives on Facebook), according to Advertising Analytics.

Dems To Pai: Reject Trump Threat To Stations

Two top Democrats in Congress on Thursday asked FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to reassure broadcasters the agency will not revoke their licenses for airing advertisements critical of President Donald Trump.

Google To Allow COVID-19 Political Ads

Reversing course, Google said on Thursday it will begin allowing political groups to run ads related to COVID-19. The company’s move comes shortly after liberal digital ad shop DSPolitical publicly complained that Google was giving President Donald Trump “an unprecedented advantage in our upcoming elections” by banning Democratic ads relating to the outbreak, while allowing the current administration to run ads referencing the virus.

Free Spots Won’t Count Toward Lowest Unit Rate

The FCC has told broadcasters it doesn’t have to count free ads toward calculation of the lowest unit rate they are required to charge for political ads, but only if those are not “free spots” tied to an existing commercial contract.

TVN FOCUS ON ADVERTISING

TVN Focus On Advertising | Political Still Shines Despite Coronavirus

Industry forecasters are lowering projections for core ad spending and revising their spot ad outlooks downward, but one category — political spending — may be 1.5 to 2 times higher than expected, thanks in part to an infusion from Michael Bloomberg.

Comscore Offers Congressional District Ratings

The new solution matches advanced audience segments to congressional districts to help TV stations optimize political advertising sales.

BIA Ups Local Political Ad Forecast To $7.1B

Of the $500 million increase, an additional $197 million will be spent in online/digital and $171 million on broadcast TV.

Californians Bombarded With Bloomberg Ads

The billionaire candidate, a late entrant in the primary race, is pouring money into Super Tuesday states voting on March 3 and saturating them to a degree that political media strategists and ad-tracking firms said is unprecedented. Bloomberg, who has spent about half a billion dollars blanketing the country with ads, has shelled out about $50 million on cable, broadcast and radio ads in California, according to ad tracking firm Advertising Analytics.

Obama: Take Down Misleading Biden Attack Ad

Former President Barack Obama is sending a cease-and-desist letter to South Carolina TV stations demanding they not air a Republican ad that misuses his words to attack his former vice president, Joe Biden. The Committee to Defend the President super PAC’s ad, which began airing Tuesday as part of a $250,000 media buy, is the latest in a string of Republican efforts designed to torpedo Biden in an effort to keep him from facing President Donald Trump.

NEWS ANALYSIS

The Limits Of Bloomberg’s Massive Ad Spend

Unrivaled advertising in Super Tuesday states gave him a bump, but it won’t be enough to win.

COMMENTARY

Managing Impact Of Political Ads In TV News

During the run-up to elections, stations are inundated with requests for political ads during newscasts and stations are happy to oblige. However, for news directors that can mean less time in the broadcasts for news. Hard decisions have to be made such as, “Do we even have time for sports tonight?” News director “victimhood” is often on display. Rather than just acting like a victim, here are some things that might make life a little more bearable.

Political Ads Flooding Streaming Services

With more Americans cutting the cord, watchdogs worry that voters lack a full understanding of who’s trying to influence them. Nothing requires fast-growing digital providers to disclose who political ads targeted and who viewed them. The absence of federal transparency rules stands in stark contrast with traditional TV broadcasters.

Political Ad Spend On Pace For Record

Spending on political advertising is expected to hit a record this election cycle, creating a windfall for local TV broadcasters and marking a comeback from four years ago. Total spending will reach $6.89 billion, according to a new estimate by EMarketer. That’s 63% higher than in the 2015-2016 season. The firm attributed the rise to a “highly partisan political environment” that’s driving more donations to candidates who pour that money into marketing themselves.

Bloomberg Plans To Double Ad Spend

Encouraged by the murky results in Iowa, Bloomberg is also expanding his field staff as he tries to win the Democratic primary by ignoring the first four states. “Those are old rules,” he said.

ACA Connects Backs NAB Political Ad Petition

Super PAC Ads Swamp Dem Primary

Outside groups have spent more than $14 million on ads and other campaigning in the 2020 Democratic primary so far.

NAB: Ad Clarification Opponents All Wrong

The National Association of Broadcasters says its opponents have given the FCC no reason to deny NAB’s request that it clarify its disclosure requirements for third-party political ads and follow NAB’s “rationally tailored approach.”

Tom Steyer Spends Millions On Ads In S.C.

Seeking inroads in the state, Steyer, a hedge-fund billionaire, is paying black vendors, hiring black staff members and appearing in rural outposts, lavishing money and attention. It’s paying dividends. Since he announced his bid in July, Steyer has spent roughly $14 million on local broadcast ads in the state; that’s about 70% of the total spent on political ads in South Carolina by all candidates, Democratic and Republican.

Bloomberg’s Political Spend Now At $258 Million

Democratic Presidential Candidate Michael Bloomberg continues to increase his media spending for his campaign, now at $258 million through Jan. 18, according to Advertising Analytics — the most money among all presidential candidates. Bloomberg has been also biggest digital media spender among all candidates — now totaling $33 million.

TVN’S FRONT OFFICE BY MARY COLLINS

Collins | Suiting Up For Political Ad Season

Just as a Super Bowl ad offers added value to advertisers, so too will political campaigns bring added value to media companies. Enjoy the uptick in revenues, but pay attention to the potential downside.

Bloomberg Spending Hikes Ad Prices For Others

Michael Bloomberg’s big-spending, shock-and-awe TV ad campaign has made politicking more expensive for everyone from his 2020 rivals to Senate, House and state legislative candidates around the country.

Largest Dem Super PAC To Spend $150M

The largest Democratic super PAC is expanding its 2020 budget by $50 million as it seeks to keep Democrats competitive with President Trump’s reelection spending while the party focuses on its nominating process. Priorities USA had already committed $100 million this cycle to advertising, election infrastructure and mobilization efforts in the key battleground states of Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Today, the group announced its budget had grown to $150 million, including $70 million in television and digital ads that will begin running in February in the four battleground states.

Facebook To Make Political Ads Optional

Facebook said Thursday it will give consumers the option to stop seeing political ads in their feeds moving forward. Facebook has been heavily criticized for its policies around political ads, especially for its decision not to fact-check political ads.

Trump, Bloomberg To Run Super Bowl Spots

President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign confirmed Tuesday that it will air a commercial during the Big Game on Feb. 2. Earlier in the day The New York Times reported that Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign will also run a 60-second spot during the Super Bowl.

Nets Put Hard Sell Behind Hard News

There’s likely little common ground between MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity, but the executives who run their respective news outlets have found something upon which they both can agree. Both NBCUniversal and Fox Corp. are talking to advertisers about recent or ongoing research that demonstrates viewers don’t think negatively about the advertisers in news programs, no matter whether the host leans toward a particular political view or if the news itself is extremely serious.

COMMENTARY

Judge Judy Rules In Favor Of Mike Bloomberg

Joe Ferullo: “Mike Bloomberg just released a new campaign ad featuring the most trusted jurist in America. It’s not the Chief Justice, but — for a billionaire candidate who needs to connect with working class voters — someone much better: Judith Sheindlin, known in most homes as TV’s Judge Judy. Most voters don’t ultimately make choices based on their favorite television characters. Sheindlin could be different.”

Affils: FCC Fails With Political Ad ‘Clarification’

Add the major network affiliate associations to the list of those supporting the National Association of Broadcasters petition to the FCC to clarify its “clarification” of political ad reporting rules, an FCC action they called a failure on all counts.

NCTA Backs NAB FCC Challenge

Cable operators are on the same page as broadcasters when it comes to the FCC’s approach to political ad disclosures.

Inside The Biggest 2020 Ad War Against Trump

Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign wants to flood voters with attacks on Trump before it is too late, a lesson Republican candidates learned in 2016 when they initially ignored him. Bloomberg is spending millions each week in an online advertising onslaught that is guided by polling and data that he and his advisers believe provide unique insight into the president’s vulnerabilities.

Bloomberg’s Ad Spend Affecting TV Markets

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is spending so much money on television spots across the country that it’s causing ad rates to soar, a new analysis shows. “The typical [TV] market increased their rates by 22% as the political spending poured in,” an Advertising Analytics analysis finds.

Spotify Will ‘Pause’ Political Ads In Early 2020

Bloomberg, Steyer Saturate The Airwaves

Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer have hit the $200 million mark combined, and Bloomberg, at least, is just getting started.

THE PRICE POINT

The Insanity Of Lowering Prices To Gain Share

Hank Price: “In the face of next year’s political ad prosperity, some stations are actually lowering ad rates on upcoming 2020 non-political buys. Why? Because otherwise smart people are acting out of fear. They want to lay in a base of regular advertising in case things go bad. They will then brag to their corporate owners about their high shares. Not smart: Not only do lower spot rates hurt the coming year, they could set up 2021 for failure.”

Appeals Court Finds Md. Law Imposing Political Disclosure Obligations On Online Platforms To Be Unconstitutional

Bloomberg Tops TV Ad Spend At $7.1M

Since announcing his run for president almost two weeks ago, Michael Bloomberg’s 2020 campaign has placed around $7.1 million in TV commercials of the intended $37 million that the campaign announced it would be spending.

A Politician’s Ad That Doesn’t Need Fact Checking