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Updated Book on Political Advertising Released

The second edition of Political Advertising in the United States, written by the Wesleyan Media Project’s co-directors, has been released. The book, by Erika Franklin Fowler, Michael M. Franz and Travis N. Ridout, examines the volume, distribution, content, and effects of political advertising in congressional and presidential elections. The book considers the role of television ads using extensive data on ad airings on local broadcast stations. It also analyzes newly available data on paid digital ads, including ads on Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube. The book covers the role of outside groups in airing ads, including the rise of dark…
Wesleyan Media Project
November 19, 2021
Blog

WMP Submits Comments to Federal Election Commission

WMP Submits Comments to Federal Election Commission about Enhanced Reporting of Campaign Spending The FEC is considering a new rule on how campaign committees report spending by contractors and consultants. WMP co-director Michael Franz submitted comments in support of the new regulation, arguing that existing rules make it hard to track ad spending on digital platforms. His full set of comments are linked here. The summary of the report is below: “This analysis compares FEC expenditures by U.S. House candidates in the 2019-2020 cycle with Facebook Ad Library totals for candidates between January 2019 and Election Day 2020. We use…
Wesleyan Media Project
October 22, 2021
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New WMP Research Sheds Light on Political Ads Online

Political ad campaigns on Facebook are not necessarily comparable to political ad campaigns on television, argues a newly-published article from the Wesleyan Media Project’s co-directors.  In a manuscript titled, “The Influence of Goals and Timing: How Campaigns Deploy Ads on Facebook,” which appears in the Journal of Information Technology and Politics, Travis Ridout, Erika Franklin Fowler and Michael Franz suggest that political ads on Facebook pursue a variety of goals—and the goals pursued depend on the timing of the campaign. The research examines Facebook ads placed by 24 different candidates running for U.S. Senate in 2018.  The ads were tracked…
2020 ElectionsReleasesYear-End Summaries

Political Ads in 2020: Fast and Furious

Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr WMP Publishes End-of-Cycle Report   (MIDDLETOWN, CT) March 23, 2021 – New research published by the Wesleyan Media Project co-directors in The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics (gated) provides a post-mortem on the fast and furious political advertising in the 2020 cycle.  Our analysis of the volume and spending on political advertising—both on television and online—suggests a few initial conclusions.  First, ad volumes in 2020 were off the charts.  Second, Democrats’ dominance of advertising on television was clear, with pro-Biden ads outnumbering pro-Trump ads two to one or even three to one in most media markets…