political advertising

Waste of time anyway, I agree with TVNZ

I’m going to disagree with Regan at Throng who thinks TVNZ wants to shirk their responsibilities.

TVNZ wants to be released from having to show the Night of the Long Lies otherwise known as the party political broadcasts.

Television New Zealand says it should be allowed to drop some of its election coverage because of terrible ratings.

The broadcaster has long been required by law to broadcast political parties’ opening and closing election addresses.

But it says viewing patterns have changed and a sharp fall in ratings during the presentations – once central campaign events – justifies a change.

During the last election the opening addresses had ratings that were 38 per cent lower than the average for the six previous Saturday evenings.   Read more »

Voters dislike negative campaigning…or do they?

The video above was the first attack ad…simple yet effective. It started the war of negative advertising.

Fifty years ago—on the night of Monday, Sept. 7, 1964—an innocent little girl plucking flower petals in a sun-splashed field helped usher in a revolution in American political advertising. The 60-second television spot that featured her disjointed counting exploded, literally and figuratively, all notions of what it meant to effectively persuade voters with paid political advertising.

The little girl counted as she plucked flower petals. Unseen birds chirped happily. As her counting ended, viewers suddenly heard a mission control announcer begin a countdown. As he neared zero, the girl’s image froze as the camera zoomed into her right eye until her pupil filled the screen and was replaced by a nuclear blast and mushroom cloud. As the apocalyptic scene unfolded, President Lyndon Johnson’s reedy drawl entered the spot, ending with the admonition, “we must either love each other or we must die.”

The so-called “Daisy Girl” spot created by Johnson’s New York advertising firm aired only once as a paid commercial during the 1964 presidential campaign. An estimated 50 million voters saw it during NBC’s “Monday Night at the Movies”—the film was “David and Bathsheba.” Another 50 million or more saw it again, or for the first time, later that week when the three television networks aired the unique, powerful spot in their newscasts.

Read more »

Sour Susie: When negative attack ads backfire

There is a a truism about negative attack ads…they must be truthful. Kevin Rudd and Labour have had a massive push back over their “Sour Susie” ads:

It turns out that “Sour Susie” is an actress and not a real concerned mum, and that her lifestyle is afar different from that portrayed in the advert.

THE actress mother hired to bag Tony Abbott in a negative Labor TV ad campaign actually lives with her parents, enjoying their gourmet food and wines, while whingeing about the price of Spanish handmade tiles.  Read more »

Dodgy Union Ratbags protecting their patch

Nowhere in the world are ratbag unions worse than Australia. Over there they are mired in scandal, bribery and corruption allegations. And yet they are still trying to pervert democracy.

After the excesses that are now being borne out in the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption the O’Farrell government moved to clamp down on political donations and the unions are fighting back.

Political donations laws in NSW will be tested in the High Court for the first time in a case brought by the union movement, which argues they infringe freedom of political communication and association.

The laws, introduced by the O’Farrell government in 2011, ban donations from anyone other than individuals on the electoral roll and restrict what individual unions affiliated to a political party can spend on campaigns.

They also prohibit the payment of affiliation fees such as those paid by unions to Labor and restrict the ability of Unions NSW and business or environment groups from receiving money from member organisations to run political advertising.

In documents to be lodged on Monday, lawyers for Unions NSW and five trade unions – including two not affiliated with the ALP – argue the legislation ”interferes with the right of free communication in relation to political matters”. The secretary of Unions NSW, Mark Lennon, said if the laws were allowed to stand they would ”muzzle debate and silence the voice of working people”.

”This case transcends the interests of any one political party,” Mr Lennon said. ”At its heart, our High Court action is about the right of working people to ensure their collective voice is heard.”

The unions have also announced an all out war to keep the Coalition from winning in the election later this year.

Attack Ads, Ctd

Another brilliant attack ad from the US.Trev should stop stealing underpants and just tell the truth….it is very hard to combat when you tell the truth about your opponents.

The best attack ad yet

There is a real sh*t fight going on in Florida between Allen West and Patrick Murphy. I featured some ads yesterday but this one from Allen West is just savage.

One day, hopefully soon we will see ads like this in New Zealand telling the truth about politicians.

Best negative ad of the cycle?

Again, from the new Florida district 18 house race between Allen West and Patrick Murphy…

Also – honourable mention to the new McCaskill ads for Missouri Senate going after Akin and those legitimate rape comments:

While the Missouri Senate race is still close enough for some Republicans to hold out hope that embattled nominee Todd Akin can overcome his “legitimate rape” comments, a series of devastating ads released today serve as a reminder that the situation is probably terminal.

The three 30-second spots from Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, who leads by six percentage points in the two most recent public polls, feature highly personal testimonials from survivors of sexual assaults.

The spots are powerful, and with two of the women identifying themselves as pro-life, aimed squarely at constituencies Akin cannot afford to lose.

60 years of Attack Ads

The Atlantic has produced this awesome video of 60 years of attack ads:

Out of the shadows

Sydney Morning Herald

There is a lot of focus right now on lobbyists, not only in New Zealand but also in Australia. Lobbyists are moving from the dark shadows out into the public gaze:

Public lobbying has been common in American politics for years, and has recently become widespread and high-profile in Australia. Is this because business leaders cannot get meetings with ministers, or after the success of the miners a simple case of follow the leader?

A Rudd confidant, Bruce Hawker, believes there is more to the trend than companies feeling shut out of government. ”There have been a number of high-profile and high-impact decisions by the government that pose big financial threats to wealthy companies,” Hawker said. ”These companies have a lot to lose and therefore they are prepared to spend.”

Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and friends spent $22 million on their advertising campaign and saved themselves an estimated $60 billion over 10 years. British American Tobacco has spent $4.5 million on its campaign against the plain packaging legislation.

British American Tobacco Australia maintains it went public only because its chief executive could not get a meeting with the then health minister, Nicola Roxon.

”Our CEO requested meetings with the then health minister via email and phone a number of times without success,” Scott McIntyre, a spokesman for BATA, said.

Roxon, now the Attorney-General, rejected the implied criticism: ”My then department met regularly with representatives from big tobacco. However, I saw no value to meet personally with companies that had already trenchantly declared their total opposition to our action.”

The Minerals Council said it had no choice but to pursue a public campaign. Their argument gained credibility after Gillard criticised her former boss for not adequately consulting with the mining companies.

”We didn’t really set out to change public opinion. We set out to send a message to government because we weren’t getting access to them,” a source close to the council campaign said. ”The policy didn’t pass the pub test, and all we did was confirm that view by being so vociferous.”

I like the idea of the pub test…kind of link the blink test. Many politicians and policies fail the pub test because politicians and policy wonks spend too much time inside the beltway.

This will be the result, however, of the Green’s insistance at controlling lobbying. Companies, unions and interest groups will simply mount public information campaigns. Pressure…and ironically lobbying…will come to bear on politicians to free up the current legislation regarding political advertising on television which is currently the sole preserve of the political parties. It is outrageous that only political parties get to have a say on television.

If the Greens want more transparency then let’s have it by all means, including the freeing up of access to the medium that allow for more transparency.

Just the kind of Bill we need here

As revelations of Labour’s renewed support of its affiliate, the Maritime Union break, we can see exactly how we should be addressing the vexed issue of big corporate donors, affiliate membership and political parties from New South Wales. I support campaign reform and have it apply equally to corporates and unions. basically only natural persons can donate or belong to political parties.

The solution in NSW though is being fought hard by Labor and their union pals, right through the courts. I wonder why that is?

A bill proposing to ban political donations from corporations in NSW risks being struck down in the High Court as unconstitutional and should be amended to allow unions and community groups to conduct political advertising, a parliamentary committee has found.

The Premier, Barry O’Farrell, introduced the bill to restrict political donations to individuals in Parliament, but it is stalled in the upper house due to opposition from Labor, the Greens and the Shooters and Fishers Party.

The parties used their numbers in the upper house in November to set up an inquiry, chaired by Greens MP John Kaye, which was held last month.

Publishing its report today, the committee that conducted the inquiry has recommended that the laws be passed but only with certain amendments.

The report calls for changes to allow unions to maintain their own electoral advertising spending cap if the advertising does not directly advocate a vote for a political party.

As it stands, the bill would force union spending to be counted against a cap imposed on the Labor Party, potentially restricting the amount the party can spend.

The report also makes a recommendation to alter a proposal in the bill that would ban affiliation fees being paid to political parties.

The provision would particularly hurt NSW Labor, which raises more than $1 million annually from affiliated unions.

Rather than banning affiliation fees, the committee recommends capping them “to a very modest level, which is equal to or not greater than the administration costs imposed on the party by the affiliation” and only with the permission of the members of the affiliated party or union.