Unsurprisingly but importantly, that disastrous trend is in the process of making yet another upward leap. In the wake of the almost complete deregulation of political money after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, a Barclays Capital expert quoted in Advertising Age is projecting political advertising will this year see “a 45% increase from the 2008 presidential year.”
Most of the money goes to local TV station owners, according to Ad Age:
By the Nov. 6 election, campaigns will have spent $2.6 billion, with 85% going to local TV.
Advertising from political campaigns has become Lin TV’s [the Providence, R.I.,-based owner of 17 stations in the 12 swing states] biggest growth category, CEO Vincent L. Sadusky said at an investor conference in December.
“Fortunately for us, if you want to get elected in America, you do need to advertise,” Mr. Sadusky said. “Political has been very, very strong in the last couple of cycles and we anticipate it to be very strong going forward.”
That’s not to say that it’s unimportant to the national TV peddlers:
“There’s going to be a lot of money spent,” CBS CEO Leslie Moonves said in December. “I’m not saying that’s the best thing for America, but it’s not a bad thing for the CBS Corporation.”
CBS will receive about $230 million in political advertising this year, Mr. DiClemente estimated in the note. Without political ads, CBS’s broadcast revenue would be unchanged from a year ago, he wrote.
Ah, the free market at work…
As for this post’s title, I kid. It wouldn’t be possible for an election to be 45 percent worse than the fraud-fest of 2008. We’re far, far into asymptote territory on this front.