This election season we’ve seen both candidates in the US presidential race make public calls to put the partisan divisiveness of recent years aside and elevate the level of discourse. We’ll leave analysis of each side’s TV ads to the political press. But in examining the candidates’ search engine ads, while both sides have gone negative, Obama’s campaigners stand out for launching more — and meaner — attack ads than their Republican rival.
SEO firm AdGooroo has the numbers: In the month of September, the Obama campaign — or pro-Obama activists buying the ads on their own; it’s impossible to rule that out — ran 17 negative ads, while the McCain camp only ran three. Compare the ads’ tenor as well. These are the three McCain ads tagged “negative” by AdGooroo:
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Generally, the Obama negative ads are harsher in tone.
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Obama’s Internet gurus may be going negative, but it seems to be working for them. Each month over five times as much traffic is being driven to pro-Obama sites from search ads than those favouring McCain.
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