Cable news played Donald Trump's advert 60 times in one day for no cost at all

Donald Trump is not a man who struggles to get air time. A combination of his celebrity status and a willingness to make offensive remarks has not only left Trump topping the Republican polls, but it has also turned him into an ever-present featureĀ on US television.

He literally gets free advertising.

During the 24 hours after Trump aired his first TV ad on Monday, FOX, MSNBC and CNN had shown the advert 60 times, according to the Huffington Post. The website reported that the advert was mostly played in full, but the figure does include some “partial airings in news segments.”

A typical 30-second advert on CNN at prime-time costs around $5,000, Ad Age reported in September, citing buyers. But the network has charged as much as $200,000 for this kind of slot during the Republican debates. Therefore, assuming the other networks charge similar rates, a reasonable estimate would put the value of Trump’s free advertising throughout the day, across all three networks, at several hundred thousand dollars.

Trump’s advert, titled “Great Again,” was characteristically provocative. The 30-second video repeats Trump’s call to impose a temporary ban on Muslims from entering the US, as well as boasting of being able to “quickly cut off the head” of ISIS and “take their oil.”

The presidential candidate says he has up to eight adverts in production that he is largely financing himself.

He told The Washington Post: “I’m $35 million to $40 million under budget, and to be honest, I don’t think I need [ads] because I have such a big lead. But I don’t want to take any chances, and I almost feel guilty not spending money.”

Trump hardly needs to buy air time at all.

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