Political Ads This Time of Year

By: Lauren Weppler
By: Lauren Weppler

Hello.

I'm sure you've been seeing all of the political ads on WTAP and elsewhere in the past couple of weeks.

And with about six weeks to go before the November 2 election, you're going to see a lot more.

There are several things I'd like you to know about these political ads.

First, as you may have heard me say before, this may be the first time in the history of the state of West Virginia where a Congressional seat for this part the state AND a U.S. Senate seat are both up for grabs with no incumbent. That's the whole reason for this ad frenzy.

A few years ago, the Mountain State was thought to be a Democratic stronghold. For the most part, Democrats didn't advertise much because they didn't have to. Republicans didn't advertise much because they figured it was a lost cause.

But since West Virginia voted not once but TWICE for George Bush and also for John McCain in 2008, the state is now very much a toss-up.

 

While we are flattered that the politicians recognize that television and WTAP are two very powerful ways to get out their messages in this area, it does present hardships for many of our regular advertisers. But we're working with them and finding effective ways to help their messages cut through the clutter in this run-up to the holiday shopping season.

The main thing you should know is that the U.S. Senate and House of Representative wrote the laws regarding campaign advertising. And those laws make it so that TV stations like WTAP cannot refuse to take advertising from candidates for federal office. That's right. They wrote the laws and those laws make it so their advertising MUST be accepted.

Not only that, but those laws gave them the right to buy advertising at the lowest rate we charge to any of our long-term, year-round advertisers! So the federal candidates force us to take their ads and they get to pay the lowest rates!

Mind you, they're spending a lot of money on WTAP to try to win your votes. And we are happy to be a vehicle for that.

But in case you ever wondered why you see so much of it, I thought you should know the whole story.

That's this week's editorial.

 

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