Television and Radio Advertising
Early Ads: The New Hampshire and Iowa Magnifying Effect
Because of the attention given to Iowa and New Hampshire, the effect of even a small ad buy is often magnified manyfold by national media coverage. Advocates of several presidential prospects and interest groups seeking to influence presidential prospects or at least draw attention to specific issues ran a number of ads in the Granite State in 2005-06; the buys ranged from modest to microscopic.

-Draft Obama ran a 60-second TV spot "Believe Again" in a modest buy on WMUR-TV in Manchester, NH starting on Dec. 20, 2006.  The ad was also run in Iowa.

-Americans for Dr. Rice ran a TV ad on WMUR-TV in NH on Sept. 27, 2005 during the premiere of ABC's "Commander in Chief."  Americans for Rice supplemented the $4,000 buy with $1,000 on radio ads promoting the show.

-On Aug. 29, 2005 the Club for Growth began running TV ads "encouraging Death Tax repeal in targeted states across the U.S.  One of the ads tells New Hampshire viewers that Arizona Sen. John McCain wants to keep the Death Tax.  Other ads are running in Montana, Washington, North Dakota and Oregon..."

-The week of Aug. 1, 2005, NARAL Pro-Choice NY ran a TV spot highlighting Gov. George Pataki's veto of the Unintended Pregnancy Prevention Act (A.116/S3661) and charging that his move is a flip-flop motivated by 2008 presidential ambitions. "Hail to the Chief" ran in Manchester, NH on WMUR-TV (50 GRPs) as well as in Iowa (200 GRPs total-Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Sioux City) and New York. ran a cartoon TV ad "Hillary Cleans Up Bush's Mess" on late-night cable in Southern NH on Aug. 2-4, 2005.  According to's James Pindell the buy was $264 for 55 spots.
-Coinciding with Gov. Bill Richardson's visit to NH on June 7-8, 2005, the NM GOP ran a radio ad "Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless" critical of Richardson.  The ad ran several times on three high profile radio stations for one day.
-Americans for Dr. Rice ran three radio spots on WNTK AM 1020 (New London/Upper Valley) and WKXL AM 1450 (Concord) starting May 12, 2005.  The group also ran radio ads on WKAT AM 1360 in Miami.  Americans for Dr. Rice founder Richard Mason MD provided some observations on the NH buy. "WNTK was very helpful and did an excellent job of arranging for the production of the "breakfast table" spot after we had some disappointing experiences with other studios and stations.  We used those two stations since they had a news/talk format which we thought would be a better audience for us at this point.  I haven't separated it out, but we spent approximately $2500 on radio at that time with the bulk of it going to WNTK and WKXL.  The ads ran for 6 weeks between the two stations."  Asked why the group decided to run the ads in May, Mason responded, "That was the soonest we could get it on the air!  We wanted to see what type of response we got.  Although it wasn't a fund-raising 'bonanza,' it did generate a fair number of responses to the website and added to our e-mailing list for the future."  [Aug. 2005 email from Richard Mason]

Also note:
On July 27, 2005 StemPAC announced plans to run an ad in NH targeting Sen. Bill Frist for "his obstructionist position on stem cell research.  The ad was supposed to start running on July 28.  As soon as Frist made his announcement of his new position on the morning of July 29, StemPAC started pulling the ad.  StemPAC founder John Hlinko states, "It is possible that it may have ran Thursday night on some of the cable stations, but the far larger part of the buy had definitely not yet begun."  Hlinko added, "But the impending ad was covered for sure in Hotline on Wed and Thurs, as well as National Journal.  So, suffice to say, even if it hadn't run, the word was out for sure among the inside the beltway community, and we assume -- Senator Frist's office."


Copyright © 2006, 2007  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action