Conventional wisdom has it that the Internet — specifically Facebook fans, my.barackobama.com and Internet advertising — won the White House for the unlikely candidate, Barack Obama.
Maybe that’s true, but only because Obama raised money on the Internet, not because he spent it there. A far greater portion of Obama’s $250 million ad budget went to an old-fashioned medium — radio.
Obama ran 650 radio spots just in Philadelphia during the week leading up the election. That’s compared to 540 local TV ads and 120 cable TV commercials.
How much did Obama spend on radio? Hard to say. Metrics firm TNS says political advertising added $200 million to radio revenues in 2008. Radio giant Clear Channel claims that in the year’s most spend-happy race, Obama outspent his Republican rival John McCain 5-1. For a low estimate, figure some tens of a millions of dollars. Still, even a smaller fraction of that $200 million dwarfs the $8 million Obama spent on Internet ads.
Obama’s Online Spend: Actually Tiny
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