Ignoring the Internet is Not a Good Policy for Advertising

The last election brought into sharp focus the debate about where to best place those precious advertising dollars. According to an article which appeared in Advertising Age entitled “Why Online Advertising Didn’t Matter in the 2010 Elections,” TV is still king if you want to win an election. According to the article, unless you are fund raising for your campaign, the internet is not where to place your bets.

The fact of the matter is that, although at the moment television is still more effective as a way to communicate your message as a candidate, television is undoubtedly in decline as a media outlet. Although voters still watch about 30 hours of TV every week, and own almost 3 TVs per household, on average, reaching voters on TV just ain’t what it used to be. Over 40% of families now own a DVR, which is an 18% increase since 2009. Combined with DISH and DirecTV, representing 33 million families unreachable with local political advertising, reaching the voters is becoming more difficult.

On the other hand the internet is without a doubt on the rise as a source for information for voters. More voters than ever before are using their computers as substitutes for television viewing, and those numbers are only going up. This does not mean that television is dead, but it does mean that the internet cannot be ignored as a vehicle for candidates to get their message out. As the internet continues to grow, so must politicians likewise advertise on that medium if they want to reach the most possible voters.

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