These are just two unusual ploys that Spain's politicians are using for this month's election, a campaign where candidates and political agendas have become difficult for voters to differentiate. Yet the impact of conventional campaign vehicles that parties relied on to create differences--television commercials, billboards and rallies-seems to be on the wane.
The reason: Spain's private television stations, which were introduced after the last general election in 1989. The private stations, for example, scheduled electoral debates between the candidates. Their lead was followed by public television. Now, for the first time, Spanish voters can see their president and PSOE candidate, Felipe Gonzalez, face off against Jose Maria Anzar, the candidate for the Parrico Popular, the conservative party and the strongest opposition.
"From the ideological campaigns of the first elections in 1977, we have arrived at presidential campaigns where the political agendas of each party are very similar, and their focus is on the strength of candidates," says Enric Pujadas, general director of Bassat Ogilvy & Mather.
According to Jose Ignacio Wert, a sociologist who is ceo of the research company Demoscopia, "This time around confrontation and insults are what count. The role of election propaganda won't be relevant."
TV could be the key.
Luis Palacio writes about advertising from Madrid.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)