Political Advertising Consultants, Rejoice!

Today's Supreme Court ruling that political campaign donations by corporations and unions amount to free speech protected under the First Amendment will not only cause a sea change in the way politics gets done -- for the worst, most likely -- but it will also cause a massive shift in political advertising, again most likely for the worst.

With corporate and union dollars now able to flow freely into politics through the media, we will likely begin to find political advertising becoming part of our everyday lives.

If you live in California, you've probably been hearing Meg Whitman laying out her agenda for the state if she were governor, delivered through radio ads that are on such high-frequency rotation that it feels like we're being carpet-bombed by MEG-52s. Imagine what it will be like now that the shackles are off, and the inmates have not only escaped from the asylum, but have been given purses full of gold to spend on blaring their messages louder and longer than ever before.

Remember, I'm an ad guy. I love advertising, for the most part. But the one part of advertising I've really never found appealing? Political advertising. But perhaps I'd better learn to love it, in the wake of this ruling.

Know what your mailbox looks like in the weeks before a November election, as stuffed with political mailers as the Thanksgiving turkey? Imagine that it could be like that every day of the year, week in, week out, as big money players vie for your votes. Those ominous TV ads about how this politician or that politician let a big scary black man out of jail, free to stalk and kill the innocents? That will go nicely with the most recent episode of "Cops." Legions of social media "specialists" ghost-Tweeting for candidates, cluttering the public timeline with endless streams of accusations, denials, credit-taking, and blame-shifting?

It's going to be relentless and evil. And very profitable for my colleagues in the political advertising industry. Enjoy your Dom Perignon, boys. I hope it chokes you, like this ruling has choked democracy.


Popular posts from this blog

Consequences of Culture: How the blinkered focus on numbers is destroying financial services brands

Insurance Marketing: Morbidity Begone!

When Ants Swallow Elephants