Typically, few political ads run in odd years, as there are no congressional or presidential races. But 2007 could be an exception. So many candidates running for the White House and no clear
front runners - along with top states moving up their primaries to Feb. 5 -- means more political advertising will hit the small screen this year.
"Broadcasters are counting down the
days until 2008, not only with the presidential race, but also Senate races," says Mark Fratrik, vice president of BIA Financial Network, a consulting firm for the media industry. "But with the early
primaries, some stations are already starting to see some ad spending."
Republican Mitt Romney is already on the air in Iowa. Ditto Democrat Bill Richardson, who has also run spots in New Hampshire. And Evan Tracey, COO of Campaign Media Analysis Group, a unit of TNS Media Intelligence, expects more candidates to start running commercials in the third and fourth quarters. He thinks as much as $600 million could be spent on political ads this year, making it the highest-ever for an odd-numbered year.