$1 of every $5 spent on TV advertising in September was spent on political ads.
“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes,” Benjamin Franklin famously observed. But in this pitched election season, we can add another: political commercials. The Washington Post reports that $1 of every $5 spent on TV advertising in September was spent on political ads. This data comes from Viamedia, the self-billed “leading independent cable advertising representation firm.”
But a new survey of Affluent households conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner suggests they may not be getting their money’s worth. Nearly eight-in-ten (77 percent) said that their voting decision has never been affected by political ads. When asked what is the reason for believing that their voting decision has not been affected by political advertising, a majority (54 percent) responded that they simply ignored political ads, while 46 percent said that their minds were already made up and that political advertising doesn’t provide them with any additional information that would sway them one way or the other.
Men are slightly more likely than women (56 percent vs. 53 percent) to say they ignore political commercials, while women are more adamant that they have already made up their mind about for whom they are going to vote (47 percent vs. 44 percent).
Affluent respondents who identify themselves as conservative on social issues are significantly more likely than their moderate or liberal counterparts to say that political advertising has no impact on their voting decision as they have already made up their mind (57 percent vs. 41 percent). Those who are conservative on fiscal issues are equally set on for whom they will vote (51 percent vs. 39 percent of moderate and liberal respondents).
Not surprisingly, respondents who identify as Independents are the most likely to say they ignore political advertising and the least likely to say they have already made up their minds. Between the two major political parties, Republicans are less likely than Democrats to ignore political ads (45 percent vs. 53 percent) and more likely to be set in their decision on whom they will vote (55 percent vs. 47 percent).
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.