Presidential Candidates Shun Cable Advertising - Multichannel

Presidential Candidates Shun Cable Advertising

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Both Republicans and Democrats competing in 2008 presidential race have largely ignored national cable networks in their attempts to woo voters through political advertising, according to a report from Nielsen Co.

Almost 95% of the total 28,725 presidential campaign ads purchased by candidates this year were on local TV stations, and more than 71% of those were placed in Iowa, Nielsen said Monday.

The study does not bode well for the cable industry – which performed poorly during the 2004 presidential race – as the 2008 presidential election approaches.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has placed more political ads than any other two presidential candidates combined, purchasing 10,893 ads combined from Jan. 1 to Oct. 10, Nielsen said.

While Romney has bought 10,199 local TV ads this year, he has purchased only 297 national cable ads, Nielsen said.

Former Republican senator Fred Thompson appears to be the biggest fan of cable. While Thompson, a newcomer to the race, has purchased just 13 cable ads, he hasn’t bought any local TV or radio ads.

In addition to Thompson and Romney, Democrat Chris Dodd is the only other candidate to buy cable ads. But of the 2,960 ads Dodd has purchased, only four of those spots went to national cable networks.

Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani hasn’t advertised yet on TV, purchasing just 642 radio ads through Oct. 10.