Unless you live under a rock you’d be aware of the US residential election campaigns going on right now, and you’d probably also be familiar with a certain Donald Trump.
And the media is having a field day with the entire thing, but one interesting thing about his constant presence in the media is how it compares to his actual campaign budget.
The New York Times’ The Upshot has compared the total amount of “bought” and “earned” media since the campaign season kicked off for all of the major Democratic and Republican candidates.
Bought media incorporates political advertising, while earned media encompasses “news and commentary about his campaign on television, in newspapers and magazines, and on social media,” The Upshot wrote.
The site used a media-tracking firm to work out the value of Trump’s “earned” coverage. How’s the disparity.
— The Upshot (@UpshotNYT) March 15, 2016
It’s not unusual for earned media to trump (see what I did there?) bought media for presidential candidates – it’s a big bloody deal for the media, afterall. But Trump’s levels are just something else.
Clocking up almost $2 billion of estimated value in the earned media category, Trump’s total is more than double that of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner who had the second highest on The Upshot’s list.
Trump has received more than six times the earned media value of the number two Republican candidate, Senator Ted Cruz. And Trump has also been called out for spending just a fraction of the money his fellow candidates have forked out in advertisements.
Unfortunately, when Trump actually does put out some kind of ‘ad campaign’ (if you could even call it that), the abomination turns out like this:
A video posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on
Trump on Wednesday posted a video on social media mocking Hillary Clinton, calling her a punchline, and comparing her to Vladimir Putin and an Islamic State Terrorist in terms of leadership qualities.
Despite all the negative media coverage, as Trump wrote in The Art of the Deal, he’s a strong believer that “good publicity is preferable to bad, but from a bottom-line perspective, bad publicity is sometimes better than no publicity at all. Controversy, in short, sells”.
And we thought Tony Abbott was bad.