Ahead of the impending federal election this Saturday May 18, a multi-million-dollar ad splurge is expected to drench the media market.
Over $57 million has already been spent on election ads across a range of mediums, from commercial free-to-air television to radio and newspapers, with UAP leader Clive Palmer racking up the most bills with an ad spend of $39.1 million across traditional media, according to data and analytics group Nielsen.
And, according to advertising and media executives, Palmer is expected to increase his ad spend across the board in the final lead up to the election, with Liberal and Labor dragging behind.
As of 12am Thursday, political party ads will come to a halt on commercial TV and radio due to the election advertising blackout law, but that doesn’t prohibit the ads running across print and digital media.
According to Leif Stromnes, MD of strategy and innovation at DDB Australia, Palmer’s total ad spend could reach as much as $60m by May 18.
Stromnes said Palmer’s ad spend was so huge because he didn’t get the airtime the Labor and Liberal receive on prime-time TV and debates, adding: “No one is going to listen to Clive Palmer.”
“But if you’re judging his advertising, he’s winning hands down. Budgets matter, unfortunately. At the end of the day, all the dream of digital being cheap and free and earned media is bullshit. You buy reach and he’s bought reach. He’s done that and he’s done that bloody effectively,” he said.
Stromnes also said Palmer’s huge spend across TV, radio and newspapers was “a massive vote of confidence for traditional media.”
According to Nielsen analytics, Palmer’s $39.1m spend is three times more than the combined spend of $17.9m by the three major parties.
Thus far, Liberal and Labor have spent $8.8m and $9m, respectively, with the Greens spending a minor $80,000 so far.
The figures don’t include social media and OOH ads, however, so the total advertising spend this election is most likely to be a lot higher.