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Direct Response Marketing

2012 Election Sends Ad Prices Soaring

15 Aug, 2012 By: Doug McPherson


WASHINGTON – Some might consider it adding insult to injury. First, you’re assaulted with political ads for months on end. Then you go to buy ads for your latest campaign and realize those same political spots have driven ad costs through the roof.

According to industry estimates, so far in 2012, politicians have purchased more advertising than any of the major agencies. Insiders say it’s the most expensive election year in history, and the trickle-down effect on direct response television advertisers is clear.

You’re left with simple economics: increased demand means higher prices.

Peter Koeppel, president of Koeppel Direct and member of the Response Advisory Board, agrees that local TV advertising will be impacted by political advertising, and that local DR advertisers will definitely experience higher rates and lower clearance during the political season. But he also believes national rates won’t be as hard hit by political advertising.

“DR marketers will need to be flexible in their media selection and be prepared to use a full range of national TV media, including cable, syndication, network and satellite, plus a mix of long-form and short-form to help counter the heavy spending by political campaigns,” Koeppel says. “Those who plan out their strategy in advance and are prepared to adapt to changes in the media marketplace will be best equipped to weather the coming onslaught of political advertising.”

Tim Hawthorne, president of Hawthorne Direct and also a member of the Response Advisory Board, takes another tact: “The political mean streets will be running red with cash flow for advertising this political season,” Hawthorne says. “DRTV buyers will need to duck and cover; they might as well take a vacation.”


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