Political TV Ads Are Squeezing Out Key Categories

Increasing political TV advertising could be squeezing out core local TV marketers -- as TV stations look to balance demands from those year-round TV advertisers.

For example, share of political TV advertising leading up to a few weeks before the last presidential election on 2012 broached 30% or more in key markets -- Denver, Grand Rapids, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Sacramento, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. This was according to Kantar Media, by way of the Cook Political Report.

Kantar notes an interesting correlation: When the political share of advertising rose from under 2% to over 30%, the automotive marketers' TV share -- one of the biggest TV advertising categories -- dropped from around 14% to 6%.

Another big category -- telecommunications -- sank from a 9.5% share to a 5% share. Fast-food restaurants also sank from a 4.3% share to a 2.6% share.



Looking at all TV advertising time in certain markets between late July and Election Day, Kantar says political advertisers claimed nearly a 20% share.

While many TV categories took a hit, TV stations did not budge when it came to their own TV station program promo time. During the ramp up of political advertising in October, TV promo time maintained a 17% share, when political was under a 2%, as well as rising through a 30% share.

Many forecasts are touting that TV stations will continue to witness benefits ever-higher political advertising revenues.

The report notes while political candidates are guaranteed the cheapest ad rates in federal races, or given the low price in state and local races, they can’t always get the desired ad placements.

“Unless they pay more to lock in their desired slots, their cheaply bought ads are at risk of getting bumped,” the researcher says.

In the face of this, one political media buying firm -- Canal Street Partners -- has asked the FCC to make it easier for candidates to get ads on TV in the weeks leading up to an election.

Next story loading loading..