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Political Ad Spending Forecast to Reach $6 Billion During 2019-20 Election Cycle

Political Ad Spending Forecast to Reach $6 Billion During 2019-20 Election Cycle

Katie Powers

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A report from Kantar highlights what these figures could mean for brand advertisers

Political ad spending during the 2019-20 federal election is set to reach $6 billion, according to a report from Kantar.

Digital advertising is expected to take up 20% of total political ad spend at $1.2 billion. Broadcast and cable TV spending is predicted to remain high, reaching $3.2 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively, over the course of the cycle. Radio ad spending is set to reach $400 million.

It’s important to note that Kantar’s projections only include ad spending by a candidate or a campaign and not by PACs.


But these figures—and Kantar’s reports from the 2016 election cycle—could be of significance to brand advertisers, particularly those seeking local ad time in highly contested areas. During the final weeks of the 2016 election season, political advertising took up 43% of slots on local news channels in battleground areas.

Courtesy of Kantar

In 2016, the automotive industry took the biggest hit, falling from 14% of all ads during the start of the political season to 7% in the weeks leading up the election.

“Brands seem to typically be responding to the huge influx of political advertising by reducing the number of spots they run rather than ceasing advertising altogether,” write the authors of the report. “Specifically, the number of brands advertising on local TV fell 11% from the beginning to the end of the campaign season, even as the number of ads those brands ran fell 26%.”

Header courtesy of Unsplash.

Katie Powers is editorial content intern at the American Marketing Association.