Stations’ Election Ad Upside Keeps Growing

Analysts see political ad spending this year and in 2020 on the upswing. 2020 won’t be a repeat of 2016, it’s predicted, when Donald Trump relied on generating news coverage rather than spending money on a lot of advertising. The importance of TV to political campaigners seemed clear. As one panelist put it: “At the end of the day, if you really want to shape hearts and minds, you still need television.”

Ad Wars For House Seats Hit New Peak

Voters across the country are being deluged by an onslaught of television advertising as candidates and big-spending outside groups dump millions of dollars on a growing battleground that stretches from the North Maine Woods to the posh suburbs of San Diego. The two sides and their outside allies have already spent or reserved nearly a half-billion dollars in TV time in the fight over control of the House of Representatives.

Scripps: ‘18 Political Ad Rev Up 50% Over ‘14

The station group says it expects 2018 political advertising revenue to beat its $75 million from 2014 and $101 million from 2016.

Political Advertisers Flock To Weather Channel

When a hurricane hits, atmospheric pressure drops — but political television commercials on The Weather Channel spike. The number of campaigns and outside groups airing political commercials on The Weather Channel has risen dramatically this week as Hurricane Florence bears down on the Carolina coast, according to a top media research company that keeps tabs on cable advertising.

Midterm Political Ads Forecast To Hit Nearly $9B

U.S. political advertising for this year’s midterm elections will climb 8% to $8.9 billion versus the same election four years ago, according to Borrell Associates. Digital media spending is forecast to see skyrocketing gains.

When Political Campaigns Use News Footage

What can you do if your station’s news report is used in an incomplete or misleading way by an organization or candidate with an agenda? Unfortunately, the answer may be “not much.”


Jessell | Worried About Ad Collusion? Blame The FCC

While stations are cautioned not to share too much information to avoid charges of price fixing, the FCC requires them to post the rates they charge political advertisers, from which smart rival broadcasters can deduce their entire pricing stategy.


Nev., Ariz., Fla. Draw Big Election Dollars

Political spending will be plentiful this fall — nearly $4 billion in all — with scores of competitive races expected for House, Senate and gubernatorial seats, according to Kantar Media. But it’s the nature of TV electioneering that some states will take a disproportion share. This fall Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Missouri and Minnesota look to be among the most favored.

Liberals Crushed In SCOTUS Spending War

A half-dozen senators are on the receiving end of millions of dollars in ad spending over the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh that heavily favors Republicans trying to confirm him over liberals trying to stop him. Conservatives have run more than $7.5 million in ads thus far compared with approximately $1.3 million from liberals in the fight over Kavanaugh’s confirmation, according to spending analyzed by Politico and Advertising Analytics.

Google Makes Political Ad Spend Transparent

A new section in Google’s Transparency report, announced Wednesday, titled Political Advertising, provides a list of advertisers who have spent amounts greater than $500. These advertisers are listed from highest to lowest amount spent. Searchable and downloadable information on ad spend in search, with display and video, details the amount that advertisers spent in any state.

Rep. Nunes Declares War On The Media

Rep. Devin Nunes is sitting on an eye-popping pile of money he’s raised in recent months, with little reason to spend it yet. Except for one splurge: an unusually aggressive — and sustained — offensive against his local newspaper, which he is tearing into as “fake news.” In a campaign ad running more than two minutes — and appearing not only online, but also on radio and TV — Nunes casts the dominant newspaper in his California district as a “band of creeping correspondents,” criticizing The Fresno Bee for its routine reporting practices and for its coverage of a controversy surrounding a winery in which the Republican congressman invests.

Trump Tops Facebook Political Ad Spending

President Trump and his political action committee spent $274,000 on ads on the social network since early May, outpacing the second-biggest spender, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, a nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health care. Planned Parenthood spent just over $188,000 on Facebook ads over the same period. The ads bought by Trump and his PAC were also seen the most by Facebook’s users, having been viewed by at least 37 million people since May.

Liberal Group Launches $5M Ad Push

A new group aiming to serve as a liberal counterweight to the right on judicial nominations plans to spend $5 million opposing President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick. Demand Justice will invest in radio, TV, digital and voter mobilization, an official said. The campaign will focus on Maine and Alaska, homes of moderate Senate Republicans Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, respectively, as well as Indiana, North Dakota and West Virginia, where vulnerable Senate Democrats are seeking reelection.


Political Season Concerns For Stations

Here’s a rundown of what stations should be thinking about now, before the lowest unit rate windows open.

Dem House Super PAC Sets $43M In Fall Ads

A major Democratic super PAC says it will book $43 million in early TV ads as the party looks to make big gains in the 2018 midterms and take back the House. House Majority PAC (HMP) says its initial list of ad buys will span 33 media markets in 20 states and Washington, D.C., and include broadcast and cable.

Super PAC Launches $250K Ad Buy In PA

A top Democratic super PAC is spending $250,000 on a television ad buy to boost Democratic candidate Conor Lamb ahead of next month’s Pennsylvania special election.


Political Broadcasting, Programatic Issues

While most of the principles governing the FCC rules on political broadcasting are relatively established, new advertising practices and opportunities always raise questions as to how those established rules are to be applied. Programmatic buying of ad time is one of those areas where these questions have arisen in recent years. In the last few years, programmatic buying has become the buzzword in broadcast ad circles. Here are some answers.

Twitter To Disclose Info On Political Ads

The move follows similar steps by Facebook and the introduction of a bill that seeks to bring more transparency to online political ads in an attempt to lessen the influence of Russia and other foreign entities on U.S. elections.

NRA Delays Va. TV Ads After Vegas Shootings

The National Rifle Association has canceled a week’s worth of television advertising in Virginia’s 2017 elections, in the wake of the deadly mass shooting at a concert in Las Vegas that authorities said has left more than 50 dead. The NRA was set to air ads starting Tuesday, media-buying sources said, with five weeks to go until Virginia’s statewide elections. But the group has now gone dark until Oct. 10.

Kantar: Stations To See $2.4B Political In ’18

New projections from Kantar Media/CMAG show $2.4 billion in political spending to come to TV stations in 2018, up 14% from the 2014 midterms. Projections for cable are 41% growth from $600 million in 2014 to $850 million next year.


B’casters Model For Facebook’s Political Ads

There’s growing buzz among Congressional leaders and other groups to require a public disclosure portal for political ads on digital platforms like Facebook, which have looser requirements than TV and radio. “It’s going to be hard to regulate in this area,” said one election law expert. “But it’s clearly the frontier.” WSJ subscribers can read more. 

Illinois Gov. Race Could Top $300M In 2018

That would set new record for state-wide election, topping California’s Jerry Brown-Meg Whitman contest of 2010.The various campaigns on both sides have already raised upward of $90 million — and the general election is still 16 months away.



Be Prepared To Defend Political Advertising

With elections looming in 2018 that look to generate lots of political advertising, broadcasters should be well versed in defending the current state of political fundraising and spending, particularly the newly won right of corporations and other associations to spend unlimited amounts in support of their causes and candidates.

Trump Group Releases Comey Attack Ad

In what appears to be a political media first, a Super Pac controlled by President Trump has released an ad attacking the character of a witness in advance of a highly anticipated Senate hearing. The ad, entitled “Showboat,” was released Tuesday by Trump’s Great America Alliance and attacks the character of former FBI Director James Comey, who is scheduled to speak publicly Thursday morning during a Senate hearing.

TVB To Recognize Best Of Best In Political Adv.

TVB, in partnership with the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC), has introduced a new annual award, the Political Excellence in Local Media Marketing Solutions Award (EMMA). The Political EMMA will recognize media strategy and execution of a collaborative, multiplatform political media campaign that generated results for a candidate or an issue on the ballot. […]

ABC, CBS, NBC Also Refuse To Air Trump Ad

A “fake news” graphic superimposed over the faces of news anchors in the Trump commercial was cited by CNN, ABC and NBC for not airing the ad. The networks contend that makes it inaccurate, and ABC said it represents a personal attack.


WATL Adds Temporary 7 P.M. Newscast

Tegna’s Atlanta MNT affiliate this week added a 7 p.m. newscast with no fanfare, replacing a repeat of The Andy Griffith Show. Two sources said the newscast is temporary and tied directly to accommodate a flood of political ads in the hotly contested House seat race that have filled the inventory on co-owned NBC affiliate WXIA. They said the newscast will end after the runoff is over June 20.


Lessons Learned From The Trump Campaign

There is unlikely to be another presidential campaign like the one that made Donald Trump our 45th president last year. But there are lasting lessons for local broadcasters to be derived from it: 1) their lock on the presidential spend may not be as strong as they might think; and 2) as sellers they have to get as smart about Big Data and targeted advertising as the buyers.


Borrell: ’16 Political Spend Down $1B From ’12

Gordon Borrell says that in addition to that decrease, digital was up $1.3 billion. In 2017, he says, core TV spending will be flat, with digital outselling traditional media. What stations need to do, he advises, is show advertisers how broadcast spend can help drive traffic to their website or Facebook page. “When they begin to put the two together — that broadcast advertising drives digital traffic better than anything else, and it does — than you’re going to see more … advertising.”

Elections Featured Record Local Cable Ad Spend

A common pattern among victorious Senate candidates in many key “battleground” states was the candidates’ use of local cable television advertising.  That finding comes from a preliminary analysis of cable advertising transaction data by Viamedia, an independent cable TV ad management company. The data was culled from political advertising purchased on more than 60 multichannel video programming […]

Senate TV Spending Passes $750M Mark

Senate TV spending crosses $750M mark Senate candidates and their allies spent more on television than Clinton and Trump.

Here Are Clinton, Trump’s Final 2-Minute Ads

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have unveiled their final pitches to the American people before Election Day. The Republican and Democratic nominees for president have both released two-minute ads, which will reportedly both air this evening on CBS (during Kevin Can Wait) and NBC (during The Voice).

Presidential Candidates Push Local TV Ads

Now, in the late stage of the campaign, presidential candidates are doing some traditional marketing — increasing spending with a greater share going toward local TV versus national TV.

Clinton, Trump Buy World Series Game 7 Ads

The Trump campaign has booked three commercial spots on the nationwide broadcast of Wednesday night’s Cubs-Indians matchup, a campaign spokesman said. And Clinton’s campaign has booked four spots, according to a source at Fox, the network broadcasting the game.

RNC Starts Spending On Trump TV Ads

The party, which eschewed independent pro-Trump ads, is spending $3 million on coordinated ads boosting its nominee.

Trump Reliance On Free Media Hurts Stations

With the presidential race winding up, projections on how much will be spent on political advertising this year are being tamped down. The culprit is Donald Trump, whose campaign has relied far more on free media coverage than on paid advertising. The impact is being felt by television stations, which rely heavily on political spending and are already struggling against significant pressure elsewhere in their business.

Wieser: Political Spot in Oct. Off 5% Vs. 2014

The shortfall against 2014 means that spending in the critical political ad category will also be off against 2012, the last presidential year and best comp, according to researcher Brian Wieser. As expected, the gains and losses in the category varied from group to group.

Clinton, Dems To Dominate Final Week On TV

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign is outspending her Republican rival by a factor of two-to-one on television advertising in six battleground states in the final seven days before next Tuesday’s election. The Clinton team will spend a total of $25.8 million on TV spots in 13 states in the final week of the campaign, while Republican nominee Donald Trump is spending just $13.3 million in 12 states.

In Ad Spending, The Election Still One-Sided

With days to go before voting, Hillary Clinton’s spending edge grows even larger while PACs supporting Donald Trump have fizzled. But the email revelations could spark a late Trump surge.

Trump Adds $10M Of Own Money For Ads

Donald Trump, seeking to boost momentum in the last days of the presidential election, wired $10 million of his own money into his presidential campaign Friday morning, two advisers told The Wall Street Journal. WSJ subscribers can read the full story here.