Wall Streeter Predicts Strong '04 Pol Ad Base, But One Shy Of '02

The 2004 political advertising scene is shaping up to be more robust than that of the 2000 presidential election but less than the 2002 election campaign year whose voracious spending surprised the media industry and boosted its fortunes in an otherwise blah year.

A CIBC World Markets study released Friday estimated that overall political advertising spending will be $900 million in 2004. While that surpasses the $606 million that CIBC said that was spent on media for the big races in 2000 - which included the Bush-Gore presidential race and a host of Congressional and gubernatorial campaigns - it's below the $996 million spent on Congressional and gubernatorial races in 2002.

Even though 2004 features a presidential race that is expected to be hotly contested on the airwaves, it's the governor's races that are dampening CIBC's projections. There just aren't as many in 2004 as there were in 2002, and the candidates aren't expected to spend as much as the others did two years ago.

"We believe the excessive spending per gubernatorial race in 2002 was an anomaly and is thus not likely repeatable in 2004," CIBC World Markets said in its report.

At the same time, the report said that political spending will be up for the presidential campaign, as well as for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives races. Issue advertising, which has been a factor in increased political advertising spending, isn't included in the report.



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