- Ad Age, Thursday, September 28, 2006 12:15 PM
Viewers can expect kinder, gentler political ads in coming months, according to David Axelrod and Mark McKinnon, media advisers and strategists for the Democrats and Republicans, respectively. Coming
into this year's midterm elections and the 2008 presidential contest, the two expect voters to notice fewer negative ads from official campaigns. "[Voters] are very cynical about political
advertising," says McKinnon. "They don't believe in political advertising, so that's a very tough filter that we have to break through." And "people don't want a lot of spin on the ball," says
Axelrod--instead preferring simple and direct messages. Also, despite increased use of the Internet to get "viral buzz" for their spots, along with longer-form messages and quick responses to an
opponent's latest ad, McKinnon does not see a spending shift away from TV. Of the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on campaigns now, he says 75 percent to 80 percent of the media budgets are
still going toward broadcast and cable spots.
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