Yesterday, the campaign announced that UniWorld, a New York-based African-American ad agency that is part of WPP Group, joined its roster.
The $2 million ad buy, which the Kerry campaign claims is the largest pre-convention African-American buy in presidential campaign history, will include national cable TV on the BET network, national magazines and local broadcast, cable TV and urban radio stations in perhaps 28 markets in the so-called battleground states.
$1 million Hispanic buy
The campaign has also launched a $1 million Hispanic effort from Chambers Lopez & Gaitan, of Arlington, Va. Both ad campaigns will run through July 28 to coincide with the Democratic National Convention, where Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and North Carolina Sen. John Edwards seek their party's nomination.
Kerry campaign strategist Tad Devine said the spending difference reflects the media markets of the battleground states. He noted that two states heavy with Hispanic voters, California and Texas, aren't considered in play this year, while a number of states with many African-American voters are. While the ads use the campaign's first creative specifically targeted to African-Americans, the campaign has increased buying media that reaches African-Americans for some time, he added.
Mr. Devine said about 10% of African-Americans voted for the Democratic ticket four years ago and the campaign's goal is to increase that number through advertising and turn-out-the-vote activities.
Campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill said the spending also reflected the ability of the campaign to raise money. She said the campaign had always intended to reach out to African-Americans in its ads, but was able to start earlier because it had the money.
Ms. Cahill said like other recent ads for the campaign, the ads from UniWorld are aimed at introducing Mr. Kerry to the audience. She and Chuck Morrison, executive vice president of UniWorld, said post-convention spots will be more issues-oriented.