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Political Ad Sales Soar

Jan 13, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The surprise New Hampshire primary results could produce major benefits to broadcasters.
Rather than seeing spending disappear, the Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaigns could each spend $20 million to $40 million more on advertising as the battle heats up.
Ad spending on the Republican side also should rise.
That’s the assessment of Evan Tracey, chief operating officer of TNS Media Intelligence’s Campaign Media Analysis Group.
With record political spending in Iowa and New Hampshire for those presidential contests, various TV station and spot cable executives have been salivating in anticipation of primaries and caucuses in their states. Several experienced campaign media buyers cautioned, however, that the campaigns might not be able to buy the kind of media weights they had in the Hawkeye and Granite states. Thus, these buyers concluded, the campaigns would have to make some hard choices and target their advertising to their areas of strength.
The buyers said they expected broadcasters to get most of the benefit, but that to reach all voters the campaigns might turn to cable, both to deliver a national message and to target niche groups, among them women.
The Clinton campaign might target a very specific category such as 45- to 65-year-old, working-class women on some cable networks. It was this group, according to some pollsters, who changed their vote at the last minute from Sen. Obama to Sen. Clinton in New Hampshire.
Furthermore, although national cable cannot be as specifically targeted as spot cable, it could be less expensive to buy when a number of markets must be reached, according to Will Robinson, a partner in the New Media Firm and a buyer in the last presidential campaign. He speculated that women-oriented networks would get ads from Democrats, while some men’s networks may be used by Republicans for Super Tuesday on Feb. 5.
He said buying national also avoids problems from missing satellite channel sets.
The youth vote, on the other hand, will be targeted via the Internet rather than cable, Mr. Robinson said.

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