Inconsistency a constant when it pays to advertise

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times
Originally published in The Canberra Times on May 27, 2011

While we might not ever be able to agree on whether advertising works or not, or why it is that companies who say it doesn’t are so determined to spend a fortune doing it, it is easy to answer a slightly different question: do politicians think advertising works? Based on the way they conduct election campaigns, the answer is a definite ”yes”. The first thing a political party thinks about when it comes to changing people’s minds about who to vote for is the advertisements it wants to run. And the next thing they think of is where they can find the money to run them. As luck would have it, some of the industries that are the most eager to advertise their own products are also among the industries that are most willing to donate to political parties to ensure that they too can advertise themselves.

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