We have a highly contested Congressional seat here in New York’s 24th District and pundits are predicting the ad spending might top the record $9 million spent two years ago. You can trace some of this TV spending. Here is one helpful new website that I learned about at #IRE14 .
While the FCC has always required TV stations to allow the public to inspect paper copies of political ad buys at the station itself, in recent years only top 50 market stations had to file them electronically with the FCC. Now, as of July 1, they all have to. As someone who has pulled the paper files to review at stations, this is so much easier!
The Sunlight Foundation is scraping the FCC website and posting all the contracts, searchable by buyer, station and market on its Political Ad Sleuth website. At the end of this post, I inserted an example of a contract for an ad buy from the incumbent in the 24th Congressional race. These ads won’t run until late October, but his campaign placed them already in early May.
Check out who has already bought time in your market. Then you can do some predictions now as to who will be spending what, as well as how much viewers are going to be deluged in the weeks leading up to the election. Check out who has already bought time in your market.
Sometimes you have to do a little digging to find out who is behind an entity or for whom it is advertising.