Want To Dodge Barrage Of Corporately Funded Political Ads? Press This Little Button

Corporately backed advertising for political issues and candidates will seemingly now run wild. But all this may turn viewers into bigger skeptics of any TV messaging -- even more so for those who have message-avoiding technology.

According to President Obama, the shocking Supreme Court decision to allow direct corporate funding into political advertising will "drown out the voices of everyday Americans."

The high court rolled back decades-old restrictions of corporate advertising for federal campaigns because, well, companies need free speech too. Don't they?

Of course the little guy has really never had much of a voice in avoiding all kinds of messaging. Now the noise level will get even crazier.

Good news: TV stations will look to make some advertising gains. Evan Tracey, president of TNS Media Intelligence's Competitive Media Analysis Group, and guru for all things concerning political advertising, said this move should put future elections on "steroids."



You thought the screaming opinions from Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN were too much? Now look out.

The good news for U.S. viewers -- or at least 33% of those U.S. viewers - is this device called a DVR, which will surely be used to fast-forward through many more ads. If commercial skipping was at a 75% rate, marketers will now be looking at 90%.

The highly charged political advertising could have an adverse effect on your everyday consumer TV advertising. Commercials from corporations now screaming about what their politicians are doing wrong, will now be followed by those same companies trying to sell you health insurance, mobile phone service, or a credit card.

The overall effectiveness of TV advertising will go down. Viewer snickering will go up.

All this will make for a tougher battle for all those supporters of targeted addressable advertising, likely to get moving in a couple of years anyway. That effort just got harder.

There'll be more distrust, for all marketers. And U.S. viewers will look to do anything to get away from it. New and growing technology will help them do that.

Commercial skipping doesn't solve the problem. We shouldn't have to run away from anything, especially the so-called "public" airwaves. But let's be honest, these airwaves -- and all of those on cable -- have barely been for the public anyway.

Many of these new corporate political commercials will end up running in news programming. The real test will be whether TV stations have any fortitude to run stories explaining what's really what right next to those political ads.

Free speech is here: not just for individuals but for companies with big money who will scream their opinions much louder. But this freedom should come with a price -- a consumer and viewer price.


8 comments about "Want To Dodge Barrage Of Corporately Funded Political Ads? Press This Little Button ".
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  1. William Hughes from Arnold Aerospace, January 25, 2010 at 4:27 p.m.

    This will probably drive more Viewers away from getting their Entertainment and Information from Broadcast AND Cable TV, and to other sources where they can get what they want WITHOUT having to contend with a barrage of Political Advertising. These will include the Internet and Home Video.

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, January 25, 2010 at 4:33 p.m.

    Funny that freedom of speech is so divisive. The polls this weekend showed that most Americans agree that corporations and unions should have the same free speech that individuals have. But, then again, most Americans agree that abortion on demand is a bad idea (and the percentage is higher for Gen-Y than Boomers).

    Sometimes I think a national plebiscite would be better than representative government, but I guess that idea is too "small d" democratic.

  3. Kelly Parker from WWMT, January 25, 2010 at 4:48 p.m.

    I am really sorry you think you can speak for all TV watching Americans... What are you afraid of? The unions already own Obama and the Democrats. So now the corporations ,who are owned and ran by people,can express their opinion out in the open and not in some backroom deal. Freedom is not free!. The everyday American is waking up to that fact and this is a great decision by the Supreme Court. Our constitution is a living , breathing document that more people should get to know. I for one thank God everyday for the founding fathers wisdom. Now all opinions will be available to the masses and I think Americans will be happy to see the differences not tuned out!

  4. John Willkie from EtherGuide Systems, January 25, 2010 at 5:05 p.m.

    The Supreme Court ruling is good because it doesn't artificially restrict the speech of those associations of individuals called corporations. It is good for stations because such advertisers are not qualified candidates for federal elective office, hence not eligible for the lowest unit rate.

    And, unless I've missed something, it will only negatively affect "traditional" advertisers than the current practice, since these marketers tend to dminish their flights already during generally short political seasons, due in no small part to the clutter and harshness of political messages

  5. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, January 25, 2010 at 5:24 p.m.

    It's called buying votes of the politicians. It's called buying laws or lack thereof. If people think they have lost control now, "they ain't seen nothin' yet". If you think things cost too much now, you'll be wishing for now later. Also, remember if a foreign owned or partially owned or with foreign influenced company has paid for ads siding with a particular political viewpoint supporting a particular politician who decides what is good for you or not, what all of the ramifications are down the pike. This immediate gratification world is going to be very disappointed. 99% of our citizens will never know the details of these companies or what credit default swaps are and what they did to you.

  6. Raymond Rodriguez from POS Outdoor Media, January 25, 2010 at 6:07 p.m.

    Try following up a political dis ad with a PolitiFacts "pants on fire" rating and see where your ad account goes.

    Expect corporations to threaten AEs with pulling their product insertions.

    So much for whatever spine these poor dudes had left.

  7. Dave O'Mara from Logan Marketing Communications, January 26, 2010 at 9:58 a.m.

    Evening the political ad playing field by extending the First Amendment to shareholders as well as unions was long overdue. That fairness is reason enough to hail the decision.

    But how anyone in the media (particularly print) cannot be ecstatic over the promise of a much needed cash infusion is beyond me.

  8. Kelly Parker from WWMT, January 26, 2010 at 12:44 p.m.

    Hoo-ray Dave!

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