Report Details Massive Spending in Key Swing States

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- Presidential campaign advertising is being concentrated in 10 states in a manner that has 27% of the electorate seeing 87% of the ads, according to a new study by the University of Wisconsin's Advertising Project.

The study analyzed data provided by Nielsen Monitor-Plus on ads that aired from Sept. 7 through Oct. 7. It found that because of the way the Bush and Kerry campaigns are buying ad time, 70% of potential voters are seeing little advertising while 50 select markets are being bombarded with ads. Most of those markets are in nine states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Top 10 markets
For the two-week period of Sept. 24 to Oct. 7, the top 10 markets that received the most campaign spending were: Miami; Albuquerque, N.M.; Reno, Nev.; Tampa, Fla.; Green Bay, Wis.; Cleveland; Toledo, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Harrisburg, Pa. -- though each campaign varied slightly as to where it spent heaviest.

Those being bombarded by the political ad buys saw mostly negative advertising, according to the report. Only 27% of ads from the campaigns themselves (as opposed to ads not approved by the candidates) since Labor Day were purely positive, the report said.

Miami is tops
The Kerry and Bush election efforts have given Miami their top priority. The Bush campaign, along with the Republican National Committee, then direct their dollars toward Cleveland; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Reno, Nev.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Cincinnati; Madison, Wis.; Tampa, Fla.; Las Vegas and Green Bay, Wis.

The Kerry campaign and the part of the Democratic National Committee it works with have bought, after Miami, ads in Albuquerque; Tampa; Denver; Green Bay; Columbus; Orlando, Fla.; Charleston, W.Va.; Harrisburg; and Davenport, Iowa.

The DNC also has another arm that doesn't coordinate with the Kerry campaign; it airs its own advertising, targeting Minneapolis and Philadelphia.

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