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Political Ads Pour In

From coast to coast, 107,701 political ads have aired on broadcast TV stations since August, says Nielsen Monitor Plus. It’s an off year politically, but in some places—New York City and California, in particular—ad spending has been brisk. In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, running for re-election, purchased 6,620 commercials from May 1 to Oct. 9, the period Nielsen tabulated, compared to the 1,773 commercials bought by his challenger, Democrat Fernando Ferrer.

In California, Proposition 79, which would lower drug costs for the poor, has stirred up advocates on both sides. The Vote No group has bought 18,010 commercials. The proponents of the proposition have bought 10,942. It is mainly because of that referendum that 6 of the top 10 markets for political advertising this year are in California.New York City is the No. 1 such market, though. Mayor Bloomberg, a billionaire, has spent nearly $30 million on his re-election effort, according to published accounts. Voter polls show he has a commanding lead over Ferrer.The race for New Jersey governor is also adding to the coffers at TV stations in New York and Philadelphia, which both serve New Jersey viewers. Democrat Jon Corzine purchased 4,723 commercials, compared to Republican Douglas Forrester’s 4,001.