Advertisers Can Now Target by Congressional District Through Comscore

New service comes as House races are expected to generate $1.5 billion in 2020

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For now, Comscore will only offer this targeting for local broadcast TV. Getty Images
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Key insight:

Media measurement and analytics company Comscore is enabling advertisers to reach local broadcast TV audiences based on their specific congressional district, the company announced Thursday morning. 

“Having detailed TV ratings information can be highly effective in reaching and influencing voting audiences, particularly in the dozens of highly contested battleground districts where the margin for error is razor thin,” said Steve Walsh, evp of local markets at Comscore, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be introducing a solution that meets a critical need in the political advertising arena.”

The new service is called Comscore Congressional District Ratings. Previously, Comscore allowed media sellers to offer targeting by counties, but not congressional districts.

“We anticipate there will be a lot of station interest in this level of precision,” Walsh told Adweek. “Sellers at best had to use county areas before this launch, and counties are a poor representation of congressional districts. So there is a huge opportunity to show better ROI for both stations and candidates.” 

The marketing insights firm Borrell Associates predicts that the current election cycle will see more than $1.5 billion spent on political advertising just on U.S. House of Representatives races—about 14% of all ad revenue generated by the 2020 elections. Across all races, up and down the ballot, media research firm BIA/Kelsey is projecting $7.1 billion will be spent on broadcast TV.

On the presidential level, Mike Bloomberg bowed out of the Democratic primary on Wednesday after dropping a record-setting $558 million on political ads in only 101 days of campaigning. A disappointing Super Tuesday spelled the end of Bloomberg’s primary hopes and cast increased skepticism on the efficacy of political ads.

For now, Comscore will only offer this targeting for local broadcast TV, but said they may open it up to cable, over-the-top or other ad sellers in the future.

@ScottNover Scott Nover is a platforms reporter at Adweek, covering social media companies and their influence.