The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, October 04, 2004
 

The politics of political spots


Now, anyone who knows anything about political advertising in the US knows that Lyndon Johnson's 1964 visual roorback Daisy [1] ran in only one state.

(In New York, apparently (PDF).)

The impact of the ad was clearly meant all along to come through free media exposure. (The Swifties' publicity was almost all from free media as well, as I recall.)

Something approaching a paradox obtains: for broadcasters [2], a presidential campaign is a cash cow. But, for the campaigns, Nirvana comes with an ad shown once on WWWW Podunk that the broadcasters [3] find irresistible copy for their news shows.

These thoughts triggered by a graf in the intro to the Note today:
18. Which television news organizations have the courage and stamina in the last month to make sure a campaign is putting real money behind an "ad" before they give a "video press release" the free media coverage that causes a flurry of high fives in the communications shops?

That's perilously close to bribery, surely [4]: cross our, or our buddies', palms with enough silver, or we'll give you the brush-off!

I can't see that line holding, somehow...

  1. Streamed (unsatisfactorily) here.

  2. Some broadcasters: since the start of the general, nobody's been advertising much in Texas or DC, I'm thinking!

  3. Not necessarily the same ones: most ads will be run by affiliates, and - I'm thinking - most ads featured on the news will appear on network news, rather than local news.

  4. Or, at the very least, anti-competitive practices.


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