KERRY CAMP READIES $45 MILLION AD BUY

Bush Campaign Also Prepares Fall Ad Finale

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The guns of electoral autumn -- or at least the political buys of the post-Labor Day campaign -- have begun with last night's announcement by the Kerry camp that it is readying a $45 million TV advertising buy.

The Kerry campaign has been mostly off the air since the end of the Democratic convention in July. Its strategy was to conserve federal funding it received after Sen. John Kerry officially won his party's nomination. Now, it plans to deploy that money in the post-Labor Day period, which is the most important portion of the campaign.

The ads will communicate what campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill in a statement called a "positive vision."

20 swing states
The TV spots are slated to run locally in 20 battleground states and on national cable, but the campaign will reserve some of the spending to use strategically.

The commercials' exact content is not known and is being produced by the Kerry ad team consisting of Washington agencies Shrum Devine & Donilon and Squier Knapp Dunn. The Kerry campaign has also hired former Clinton administration spokesman Joe Lockhart as its traveling press spokesman.

The Bush campaign is also preparing to launch new ads immediately after the Republican National Convention, with the ads coming from the Maverick Media ad team. The spending amounts for the new Bush effort were not immediately available.

New Bush slogan
The new ads will carry a new slogan, "Fulfilling America's promise." During its opening night ceremonies, the Republican National Convention unveiled that tagline in several long-form three-minute campaign videos.

One showed President Bush and wife, Laura, talking about the new freedom of women in Afghanistan and Iraq and included pictures of women garbed in traditional Afghani robes.

Besides the new slogan, the long-form promos also presented a new campaign branding symbol -- a giant "W" with the slogan in smaller type below.

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