Health Care, Cap-and-Trade Spawns $1 Billion of Political Ads

December 9, 2009

(ChattahBox)—In a non-election year, a whopping $1 billion has been spent on political ads, with most of the money spent on issue ads, such as health care reform, global warming and same sex marriage. And the pace of the ad buys is expected to continue into the 2010 elections, with a switch from policy to pure political ads.

Evan Tracey of TNS Media Intelligence, an expert in political advertising noted that about two-thirds of the $1 billion spent on political advertising this year was due to issue ads. Our televisions have become bombarded with horror stories about a government takeover of health care from corporate interest groups opposing reform. Right behind health care reform, were ads weighing in on the upcoming cap-and-trade bill, which would reduce polluting carbon emissions.

Tracey expects the rescission to hamper political advertising slightly in 2010. And he doesn’t believe ad buys would exceed the record set for the 2006 midterm election of $3.4 billion in ad spending. But spending for political ads during the midterm elections will still be significant:

“What you’re starting to see is that spending is ramped up and it’s liable to stay that way. It’ll go from the policy into the politics next year. Every member of the House and Senate in tough districts will take votes that hurt or help one side or the other, and so some will try to unseat those who didn’t vote with their particular point of view, said Tracey.

Better keep your remotes handy.

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