“Glad it’s over? You’re not the only one. Voters in six states with closely contested U.S. Senate races were recently asked by the Gallup Organization their opinion of the political advertising they’d seen this year. The vast majority, in every state surveyed, described it as either ‘somewhat negative,’ ‘very negative’ or ‘extremely negative.’ Roughly a third of those surveyed in each state said ‘extremely negative,’ ” John Ellis writes at www.OpinionJournal.com
“According to Advertising Age magazine, the total amount spent this year on political advertising will reach $2 billion, a hefty increase over 2004. If one conservatively estimates that at least half of all political advertising can be fairly described as ‘negative,’ then 2006 will be the first year that negative political advertising expenditures reached the $1 billion mark. That’s a dollar amount greater than all of the television, radio and print advertising buys done by Anheuser-Busch (estimated by Ad Age to be $919 million) in 2005,” Mr. Ellis said.
“Imagine, if you will, what your taste for Miller beer would be if Anheuser-Busch spent half of its annual advertising budget describing all of the various Miller brands in the most unsavory terms. Or, what your taste for a Budweiser would be if the lads at Miller unleashed a $500 million negative ad campaign against ‘the King of Beers.’ Imagine both at the same time and you get some idea of what domestic politics is like for most Americans.”