USA Today takes a look at political ad spending in Columbus, where viewers are already being “peppered with political ads from candidates, super PACs, and issue advocacy groups from the left and right” even though the election is six months away:
Columbus draws a lot of political advertising because it’s the largest city in a big swing state that this year also has a heated Senate contest and congressional races reconfigured by redistricting. What’s different here is that when the campaigns end, the advertising keeps on going. Political ads are on the air in Columbus all the time.
That’s great news for the local TV stations battered by a recession that torpedoed their commercial advertisers. “We’re on the other end saying, ‘Thank you.’ We’re running around with a bushel basket trying to catch it when it falls,” said Tom Griesdorn, general manager of WBNS-TV, the Columbus CBS affiliate.
Borrell Associates, an advertising research firm, projects that political advertising in Ohio will reach $391 million this year.