Sunday, 26 January 2020

Bloomberg’s Campaign Is Costing Others More

Mike Bloomberg isn’t making any friends among his fellow Democratic candidates. In fact, he’s making quite a number of enemies. The self-funded billionaire is spending more money on ads than anyone else. It’s because he has the money and play catch-up since he entered the presidential race months later than everyone else.

There’s a problem with all of that massive spending on ads, though. It’s starting to cost more for the other candidates. If they want to come close to what he’s spending in the Super Tuesday states, they’re going to have to up their game – and that could prove to be considerably more expensive than they had anticipated.

The former NYC mayor has spent more on advertising during the first eight weeks of his presidential campaign, $248 million, then what most political candidates would be able to spend in years.

With all of that money comes reduced TV ad inventory in almost every state. This lower supply, resulting in stations raising their ad prices due to high demand. It’s a typical story of supply and demand, which is causing candidates to rethink their spending strategies.

It’s not just the presidential candidates that are struggling, either. House, Senate, and state legislative candidates buy TV ads, too – and with a lower inventory available, they’ll have to spend more if they want to use TV advertising as part of their campaign strategy.

Since Bloomberg has started campaigning, the cost for political TV ads have increased by approximately 20% across the country. Local politicians are already struggling to reach their constituencies. Eric Jaye, a media buyer in Houston who purchased ads for the Democratic mayor of Houston is calling it the ‘Bloomberg Effect.’ He says that he may be one of the first campaign is to experience the increase but knows that he won’t be the last, either.

The mayoral campaign felt the squeeze because the last few weeks of the Houston mayor’s campaign overlapped with the November ad buy of Bloomberg covering the lower 48 states. Spending in Houston alone was $1.2 million, increasing ad prices in the city by approximately 45%. Jaye is well aware of what happens when there is greater demand. He is also aware that Bloomberg could write a big check and take up the “inventory that campaigns favor.”

The candidates can’t get too mad, however. The onslaught of ads paid for by Bloomberg help all of the Dems because a number of issues that are critical to the party have made it in front of constituents. This includes climate change and healthcare. Of course, Bloomberg has also taken a few hits at Trump in some of the key swing states where some of the other Dems haven’t even focused on ads yet.

Additionally, Bloomberg isn’t the only one responsible for the spike in ad prices. There are quite a few early primary states that have seen content from House and Senate candidates as well as a few presidential candidates. The war between Dem and GOP is greater than ever, so everyone is working to get their ad content in – and it’s coming at a cost for everyone.

As one media buyer said, one candidate cannot be held responsible for everything. However, Bloomberg is spending more than anyone else, so he’s certainly not helping the situation.

The advertising strategies that many of the candidates planned early on may have to go back to the drawing board. The ad prices are on the rise and some that aren’t fundraising as much may be dramatically affected. Biden has some lower-than-average fundraising in place, so he may not get the ads that he had planned on. Meanwhile, others like Sanders and Buttigieg may not feel the pinch quite as much.

Bloomberg has already come forward to say that his campaign isn’t placing a price cap on spending. This ensures that the former New York mayor is able to spend as much as needed in order to defeat Trump. Bloomberg also feels that, even if he isn’t the candidate, his spending will help to defeat Trump in one way or another. He has already matched Trump’s Super Bowl campaign by launching one of his own – and spending over $10 million to do it.

As a Republican media buyer explained, candidates would need about $100 million to compete effectively for Super Tuesday. The only one who can spend that is Bloomberg – and that’s because he has to buy the attention since he’s not participating in debates.

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