Politics Not As Usual

Political Ad Spending in Seattle

If you watched any TV at all prior to the November election, this news might be astounding to you: According to a recent Market Profile from Media Life Magazine, television political advertising was down in the Seattle market in 2012 – almost 25% from the anticipated $45 million expected. While it appeared the airwaves were more than amply filled with the contentious Governor’s and Attorney General races, what was missing was any real effort by the GOP to engage in a Presidential political battle in this bluer than blue state. Assuming a shortage of avails and waiting for the political dust to settle, National TV advertisers bypassed the market. The only exceptions were Automotive and Financial advertisers, but even with that, spending came in 7-8% below 2011 levels.

The article goes on to note that radio was experiencing a small, but significant growth spurt in late 2012, not so much from political revenue but from the auto, home-furnishing and financial-services categories, as well as from advertisers hoping to avoid the anticipated clutter on TV. The outlook remains as rosy as it can be in this economy, with radio stations expecting even more automotive dollars based on pent-up demand and a fight between Japanese and domestic automakers for market share. It also appears the late move into the digital realm by stations is starting to pay off with revenues up nearly 10%.

Seattle Media Maven looks on this growth as a cautiously optimistic sign; radio dollars are the first to appear when businesses loosen their media-buying purse strings. As we enter the New Year, catching our collective breath as falling off the fiscal cliff is temporarily obviated, let’s hope this is a sign of better things to come!

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Seat­tle Media Maven is open to your sug­ges­tions for con­tent and always wel­comes tips, feed­back, ques­tions – what­ever is on your mind about the Seat­tle mar­ket and the media that serve it! Use the Com­ments box below or email us at seattlemediamaven@seattletimes.com.

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