Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of the respondents said Kerry was their personal preference for president, versus only 32 percent who cited Bush and 2 percent who chose independent candidate Ralph Nader.
Asked which candidate would be better for the ad industry specifically, the ratio of pro-Kerry support was essentially the same--55 percent versus 27 percent for Bush--but the percentage of respondents who said they were unsure was much greater (17 percent).
"Preemptive wars, weak dollar policy and high deficits created by [George W. Bush] negatively affect the U.S. economy, which in turn negatively affects advertising," said one Kerry supporter, echoing the main sentiments of other pro-Kerry respondents.
"He seems to have a 'hands off' policy, letting the industry regulate itself for the most part," countered a Bush supporter.
"I believe that because of [Bush's] policies on economics that consumers will have more spending dollars, and that translates to a favorable environment for advertisers and the advertising industry," chimed another.
Some of the respondents expressed surprisingly specific media reasons for their selections, such as the Kerry supporter who said: "Kerry uses the Internet and e-mail quite effectively for outreach and promoting himself and his platform. This is in comparison with Bush, whose reference to the 'Internets' in the debates makes it clear he couldn't appreciate the medium as an advertising environment, let alone understand its capacity as a communication and marketing resource."
"No. 2," continued the panelist, "Bush has FCC Chairman [Michael] Powell in his pocket. The new FCC has already tried to divert more power to TV broadcasting moguls, which would work against the benefits of free competition, and end up raising advertising prices and generally stifling the advertising industry. Advertising would be out of the reach of smaller entities."
"As media companies are allowed continually to get large, negotiation is becoming more and more difficult," echoed another Kerry supporter. "With the Sinclair Broadcasting controversy, I believe it became more apparent to Senator John Kerry and the general population how much control the large conglomerates can have over the programming in the U.S."
In fact, the influence on television programming was a recurring theme among Bush opponents. Said another: "Social conservatives like George Bush limit the type of programming that gets aired, allowing for fewer choices for consumers. Not that HBO should be on the networks, but the shows should deal with more difficult issues that the current climates do not allow."
2004 Presidential Preferences
Bush Kerry Nader Other Unsure
For overall business climate: 34% 59% 1% 1% 5%
For advertising industry: 27% 55% 1% 1% 17%
Personal preference: 32% 61% 2% 3% 2%
Source: MediaPost Advisory Panel. Base = 202 respondents surveyed online by InsightExpress in October.
The split between personal and industry preferences in this year's election was also evident when MediaPost asked which issues were most important in Tuesday's election. While the economy was the biggest issue for both personal and industry reasons, national security was a far more significant issue for media industry executives personally, while industry laws were viewed as being most significant professionally.
Other key issues from an industry point of view include industry consolidation, health care, industry regulation, and taxes.
While the Bush Administration is seen as giving business in general a much freer hand than Kerry would be expected to, a majority of panelists felt the Bush Administration has done only a fair (23%) or poor (31%) job in terms of the ad industry.
What is the most important issue at stake in this election?
For The Respondent Personally For The Advertising/Media Industry
The Economy: 50% The Economy: 54%
National Security: 23% *Industry Laws: 14%
Health care: 10% National Security: 7%
Other: 7% Industry Consolidation: 6%
Education: 3% Health care: 6%
Abortion: 3% **Industry Regulation: 6%
Same Sex Marriage: 3% Taxes: 5%
Immigration: 1% Other: 1%
Source: MediaPost Advisory Panel. Base = 202 respondents surveyed online by InsightExpress in October. *Spam, spyware, privacy, etc. **Food, alcohol, kids marketing, indecency, etc.