On Jul 9, 2013, at 4:35 PM, "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote: > I don't mind political ads during an election season, at all. As long as they > don't increase the time devoted to ads, I'd much rather hear what some > politician is promising, or what image s/he is trying to portray, than to see > ads about pampers. > > And if these ads are paid by campaign contributions, and not by the taxpayer, > all the better. > > Craig might be interested to see that when push came to shove, it was the ads > on the main broadcast channels that are considered the most useful ones. Not > the ones on the obscure cable channels. I hardly know where to start… First, I'd rather not watch ads at all; most political ads tell us nothing about a candidate, but rather try to attack the opponents record. And promises from politicians? They tell each audience what they want to hear; you may hear one story in one market, and a completely different story in another. Not that it matters, as "what you see" and "what you get," are often 180 degrees out of phase, to coin a TV engineering term. A portion of the Presidential campaign is paid with tax dollars, although you can choose not to check off that box on your tax return. Unfortunately, campaign contributions are the problem. Being a politician, especially for state and national offices, is primarily about fund raising. The attorney who represents the Florida Brewers Guild in Tallahassee has told us on many occasions that it now takes about half a million dollars to get any legislation passed in Florida. We failed to pass a very simple bill making 64 oz growlers legal in Florida, as they are in most other states; the Chairman of a key House committee simply sat on the bill and would not let it come to the committee for consideration. In Florida virtually ALL State representatives and Senators receive significant campaign contributions from the Distributors of alcoholic beverages; most of the laws pertaining to alcoholic beverages in Florida (and almost all other states), define the three tier distribution system and protect the rights of the distributors. Such is the nature of government today. In Washington it is even worse; our President, who cannot run for re-election, still spends a huge amount of time raising money. It IS what they do. Putting corruption aside for the moment, the story that started this thread details the impact of political spending on the broadcast industry. Ironically, while stations once were valued largely on market size and ratings, we now see that stations in battleground markets are being sold at significant premiums. The major attraction of local - market based - broadcasting to politicians is two fold: 1. Representatives can buy ads on stations that cover their districts, and Statewide and nation races can focus ad spending on key demographics. 2. Between elections, politicians benefit from the coverage they receive on the stations in the districts they represent, and the penchant for news coverage to focus on political issues. This is the quid pro quo I referred to in the title of this thread. Now add to this the fact that campaign spending is increasing at an alarming rate, and you begin to see how important this has become to the financial foundation of broadcasting. Sometime in the early '90s we surpassed the billion dollar spending level for a national election cycle. In 2008 the politicians spent more than $5.5 billion. In 2010 - a non presidential cycle it topped $%2.5 billion. In 2012 it reach more than $6 billion. Solid evidence that the U.S. now has the best government money can buy. As for Bert's comments about cable versus broadcast spending, he is not in a good position to comment. I rarely watch broadcast TV, but I was still inundated with political ads on cable channels. Here are a few interesting tidbits from a Reuter's analysis of where the obey was spent last year: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/05/us-usa-politics-cabletv-idUSBRE90406820130105 Analysis: Obama's ad team used cable TV to outplay Romney By Marcus Stern and Tim McLaughlin Sat Jan 5, 2013 8:02am EST (Reuters) - As political experts assess Republican Mitt Romney's failed U.S. presidential bid, an analysis of how his campaign and President Barack Obama's winning team used cable TV to target ads at specific groups of voters may offer some valuable tips for the future. During the final weeks before the November 6 election, with polls showing a tight race, Obama's campaign exploited cable TV's diverse lineup to target women on channels such as Food Network and Lifetime and men on networks such as ESPN. The Obama team used the fragmentation of cable TV's audience to its fullest advantage to target tailored messages to voters in battleground states. Meanwhile, Romney's campaign relied on a more traditional mass saturation of broadcast TV. The Romney camp was entirely dark on cable TV for two of the campaign's last seven days. ... OBAMA'S ADVANTAGE Cable television political advertising jumped from $136 million in 2006 to $650 million in 2012, although broadcast TV still garnered 80 percent of the campaign advertising spending last year. Even with major broadcast networks and their affiliates, the Obama campaign appeared to out-perform the Romney camp. A campaign spending review shows the Obama camp frequently spent far less than Romney for ads aired by the same stations during the same shows. For example, a review of TV station filings with the Federal Communications Commission showed Romney, on the Sunday before Election Day, paid $1,100 for an ad aired during CBS's "Face the Nation" program on WRAL in Raleigh, North Carolina. Obama paid $200 for a comparable ad on the same station during the same program. Part of the reason for the Obama campaign's pricing advantage is that the president faced no Democratic primary challenge and was able to buy autumn TV time months in advance when the slots - like airline tickets - were discounted. Romney faced a tough battle for the Republican nomination. ... EXPLOITING FRAGMENTATION In the past, political advertisers relied on the major networks rather than cable TV in a quest to reach the most television viewers. But cable TV's increasing popularity has brought dramatic fragmentation to television viewership. In many markets, cable offers a hundred or more channels, giving advertisers a chance to target specific demographics. For instance, the Obama campaign identified zip codes surrounding Ohio tire-manufacturing plants and purchased cable ads touting Obama's efforts to block tire imports from China. Obama ran 600,000 cable ads to the Romney's 300,000 around the nation during the campaign, said NCC's Kay. Obama's cable TV push started in April. Romney's began in September. Sadly, we have the best government special interests can buy, and broadcasters are critical to the success of the political class. Regards Craig ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.