2016 Political Advertising Environment

Executive Summary

(You may download the entire whitepaper by filling out the form below the executive summary)

The 2016 Political Season is well upon us. InterMedia Advertising® has researched past TV commercial activity figures from 2012, 2014 and early 2016 to offer comparative suggestions for how your brand or company can strategically plan for your TV advertising spend during this political season. We have also identified potential battleground states for the upcoming elections for President, Senate, House of Representatives and Gubernatorial races. Specific states will be more affected than others for competitive political candidate campaigns and state initiatives or referendums. We remind all our clients to remain flexible to account for these fluctuations in spending and inventory availability and offer the following points to consider:

  • There is a 96% increase in current political advertising compared to the same period during the 2014 election and a 146% increase over 2012.
  • National Campaign or Political Action Committees and Unions have increased political advertising 34% from 2014 and 119% from 2012.
  • First Party Spot TV activity by candidates for elected office and ballot measures are up by 144% over 2014.
  • There are 34 states that will be battle ground states for at least one of the following political races: President, Senate, House of Representatives and Governor. 10 states will have two contested races, 6 states will have 3 contested races, and 1 state (New Hampshire) will have all 4 races contested.
  • Candidates running for federal offices are entitled to the Lowest Unit Rate (LUR) on each and every station/network. Stations my extend rate protection to other statewide or regional candidates at their preference.
  • 3rd party advertising (PAC, National or State Committee) is available on a pay as they go basis.
  • We recommend you book 3Q and even 4Q as soon as possible. Schedules can always be cancelled if need be.
  • InterMedia’s CPM Network® is being used as a hedge to obtain National Cable Network Programming at low CPM’s despite the political advertising environment.