Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's massive TV ad campaign focused on states with primaries on Super Tuesday have caused the price on ad time to rise dramatically for his fellow candidates, Politico reports.
Bloomberg, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, has spent $248 million on advertising. Politico notes most candidates would take years to spend that much, and the former mayor's willingness to spend big has caused stations to hike up prices.
"I think we might have been one of the first campaigns to experience the 'Bloomberg Effect' on prices, but we certainly won't be the last," said Eric Jaye, media buyer based in California who bought ads for Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a Democrat.
Bloomberg's ad buys in Houston caused prices to rise by 45% just before the mayoral election.
"You know, prices start to go up as demand for that inventory goes up," Jaye added. "Mike Bloomberg could come along and write a big check and take up the inventory that campaigns favor."
An unnamed media buyer told Politico that Bloomberg is not the only candidate responsible for the price jump, noting that advertising time in early primary states is being sought by candidates for president, the House, the Senate, and in local elections.
"It's never gonna be just one candidate," the media buyer said. "Multiple candidates and multiple issue groups are competing for the same sets of eyeballs."
"There is no doubt that rates are being driven up and it is making it much more expensive for congressional candidates and other downballot races to communicate in their own primaries," said an unnamed Democratic operative working in several Super Tuesday states. "In some ways that is difficult for candidates and campaigns that have been disciplined about raising money and are now faced with the fact that their money will not go nearly as far."
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