I’m Nick Westergaard and I Approve This Blog Post

A recent study pointed out some stunning stats on political advertising. During this month’s election, a viewer watching a 30-minute block of television was, on average, exposed to 4 1/2 minutes of political advertising. The real kicker? In a 30-minute newscast viewers only got about 1 minute 43 seconds of political coverage and even then it focused primarily on political strategy rather than a look at how the candidates actually differ on the issues.

Speaking of stance on the issues … I’m not real sure where I stand on this. I guess it would be easy to say “yeah advertising!” but I kind of feel more like “forget advertising (in politics: spin), where’s the beef?” I guess, love it or hate it, our society is really getting most of our information, on anything from pharmaceuticals to MP3 players to the people we elect to higher office, through perceptions shaped by mass media.

The Point? With reluctance, I say go advertising … but we need to be careful. As David Ogilvy once said, “In a period when television commercials are often the decisive factor in deciding who shall be the next President of the United States, dishonest political advertising is as evil as stuffing the ballot box.” You’re now more than twice as likely to hear controlled spin from a politician than an objective fact so just remember that an ad for a politician is as objective as one from McDonalds espousing the dietary benefits off the Big Mac. Luckily our food has Nutrition Facts …