McCain Camp Drops RNC as Co-Advertising Partner

Campaign Wants More Control; Congressional Candidates Want More Ad Support

By Published on .

WASHINGTON ( -- The McCain campaign is abandoning its use of joint TV spots with the Republican National Committee, a move that will reduce the number of its ads, but give it far more creative control of its own message.

The New York Times last night reported the change was happening in certain states, but a McCain team aide told that the campaign will discontinue running joint TV ads anywhere.

Se. John McCain's campaign, which accepted federal financing and thus had only $84 million to spend on the nine-week fall campaign, had used the joint ads to increase its visibility. Rival Sen. Barack Obama's decision not to accept federal financing has allowed the Obama campaign to have significantly more money for the fall campaign.

By using joint ads, the McCain campaign could essentially buy double the number of ads, extending the reach of its advertising and lessening Obama's advantage.

Yet under federal financing rules, the joint ads had to literally be half and half. A 30-second joint ad broke down to a five-second disclaimer followed by 12.5 seconds about McCain and 12.5 seconds about other Republicans.

The McCain campaign's switch to a solo effort means fewer ads but allows 25 seconds of each ad to be used for a McCain message. It also allows the RNC to use its messages to support party candidates. The party has been under pressure from candidates to devote more resources to their races.

The McCain campaign will continue using the joint ads in radio messages, most of which start as 60-second ads.
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