Election fever runs through Canadian ad industry

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OTTAWA -- The Federal Election ads should contribute about $18m to media companies and ad agencies as the campaign heats up for the June 2 federal election.

Parties such as the Tories, Liberals, New Democrats, Reform and Bloc Quebecois are spending millions, primarily on TV, to get their message out. Elections Canada has set a limit of about $8m in campaign spending for a party running candidates nationally.

The Tories and Liberals are expected to spend close to their limit, with less spending for the other, much smaller parties. The campaign will only run over 36 days this time around, down from 47 days, with the expectation that TVs will be inundated with election ads during the last three weeks in May.

The parties have assembled various senior advertising executives to form their special election teams. The Liberals have their Red Leaf coalition, with heavy input from Vickers & Benson Advertising in Toronto and Publicis-BCP in Montreal. The Gingko Group of Toronto is working with the Tories. The Reform party is using Thomas Crncich & Partners in London, Ontario and the NDP has hired NOW Communications to help with its campaign. No word on the Bloc Quebecois which has used Quebec-based ad execs in the past.

Copyright May 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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