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February 4, 2010

2010 Political Advertising Outlook:
The Endless Campaign - Feb '10

Overview

An odd thing happened in 2009:  For the first time, political ad spending in an "odd" year actually surpassed that of spending in a presidential year within a decade.  The event underscored a trend where spending within a two-year political advertising “cycle” has more than doubled since 1996.  The trend accelerates going forward.  This report details the beneficiaries of that spending and dissects the sources – from Senate and House campaigns to state and local elections and even “issues,” which comprise 43% of all ad spending.  It also examines online advertising, which we estimate will be about $44 million this year, less than 1% of all political advertising and is not likely to crack the $100 million mark until the Presidential campaign of 2012.  The 24-page report includes 12 charts and an appendix estimating political ad spending in each of the 210 DMAs.

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