Democracy Goes Digital: Spending on Ads is Growing Like Wildfire

Democracy Goes Digital Spending on Ads is Growing Like WildfireLet’s put aside the question of how far democracy has gone down the Madison Avenue hole, and whether that’s a good thing or bad. But when it comes to advertising, nobody beats our political hopefuls.

There’s no way to avoid the ads anymore, either. Forget turning off the television to get a respite. Politicos have gone digital. Their ads are everywhere — your Facebook newsfeed, your email inbox, your cell phone, your game system.

There’s a flurry of digital political advertising now. The Virginia-based research firm Borrell Associates recently noted that 2014 has seen “an explosion of digital spending” and that future campaigns may well be fought, won, and lost in the digital sector.

How much money are we talking?

“This cycle in total, Borrell Associates estimates that $270 million will be spent on digital advertising, which is a 1,825 percent increase from the last midterm election in 2010,” according to a story at InTheCapital.

If the trend continues, 2016 could bring at least $1 billion in online political advertising — more than the anticipated spending for print media, direct mail, and telemarketing.

You still might have to turn off your television.

“Despite this digital growth however, television still remains king when it comes to political messaging,” according to the story. “Spending on TV ads is expected to reach $4.6 billion this year, with a projected growth to $6.4 billion in the 2016 presidential elections. Considering the fact that most campaigns this election have set aside roughly 20 percent of their media budgets to go towards digital advertising, this just goes to show how the growing amount of money in politics has directly translated into overall increased spending on ads.”

Can the “Candidate Crush” app be far behind?