Hate Political Ads? Get Ready for More Than Ever

If you can't stand political commercials, 2016 could be a nightmare. Spending on one type of ad may increase by nearly 500 percent.

Hate Political Ads? Get Ready for More Than Ever Photo (cc) by Tom Lohdan

Spending on political ads for the 2016 elections is projected to increase by more than 22 percent over 2012 spending.

That translates to a total of more than $12 billion being spent to sell candidates, according to preliminary research by Borrell Associates as reported by CBS Money Watch. Borrell Associates is a Virginia-based research and consulting firm that tracks advertising.

Most of that money — $6.5 billion, or 55.6 percent — will be spent on broadcast TV. That’s a 19 percent increase from 2012. An additional $1.2 billion will be spent on cable TV networks, a 39 percent increase.

Kip Cassino, Borrell Associates executive vice president, tells CBS:

“You are going to see messages popping up all over the place. Certainly, there will be more use of cable this time than there has been simply because there are just only so many 30-second spots that you can buy.”

The biggest percentage increase in election spending for 2016 compared with 2012, however, is expected in online advertising. It’s projected to total $955 million — an increase of almost 500 percent.

Cassino tells CBS that at least half of the spending increase is due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which Cassino says has made it tougher to restrain election spending.

Miles Rapoport, president of the nonprofit political advocacy group Common Cause, tells CBS amount of money that is going to be spent — and the sources from which it will be raised — “are causes of great concern”:

Campaign contributions or campaign-related contributions in the millions of dollars or even the tens of millions of dollars are at play. That gives the people who can give those contributions enormous weight in the process that is completely undemocratic on its face.”

How do you feel about political advertisements and the amount of money candidates spend on them? Share your thoughts in our Forums. It’s a place where you can swap questions and answers on money-related matters, life hacks and ingenious ways to save.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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