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Post-election ad space deals won’t last

Marketplace Contributor Nov 8, 2012
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Post-election ad space deals won’t last

Marketplace Contributor Nov 8, 2012
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One great thing about Election Day being over is no more political ads. This may be particularly good for people looking to buy ad time in swing states like New Hampshire where political ad spending topped $60 million this year. A good chunk of that went right to WMUR, the ABC television affiliate that is the only station with statewide reach. 

“We ran more political ads during this entire year than in any previous year, a little over 20,000 ads,” says Jeff Bartlett, WMUR’s general manager.

The presidential campaigns spent big, but so did super PACs and candidates in the state’s hotly contested races for governor and Congress. This drove up rates across the board. “Corporate clients, retail clients, people who need to move inventory in the fourth quarter, they are not happy about this,” says Pat Griffin, who runs a New Hampshire advertising agency.

Griffin says some clients moved their advertising to radio, print or online. Others simply went dark. But Griffin, who also produces political ads for Republicans, kept busy. An election year like 2012, he says, offered boom times for political ad makers and TV stations alike. “You are sitting there and your biggest problem is you can’t write the down the orders fast enough,” he says.

But like all market bubbles, there does come a pop. Now, if you want ad time during a WMUR newscast, prime real estate prior to the election, station manager Jeff Bartlett has three words: Step right up. “It will be 70 percent cheaper for a while,” says Bartlett.

He says the rock-bottom rates will last about a couple of weeks. Holiday advertising is, after all, just around the corner.

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