TPM’s Foolish Faith in TV Ads (June 20)

20 June 2016

1/TPM should be commended on having a name more accurate than, say, “Pravda”. They distribute talking points for flunkies, & they own it.

2/The crime against integrity in question: 

3/What’s quirky about this is how many chains of (faulty, but never mind that) inference separate the premise from the title.

4/The implicit question in the article’s premise (Trump not buying TV) that an actual journalist would have investigated:

5/Is it actually worthwhile to buy ads?!?! Is that a good marginal use of resources? What is the optimal ad buy level?

6/(The previous official explanation is Trump outdid $200M in hostile ads w/ his “free” coverage by the hostile media.)

7/I have it on extremely good authority that TV ads are way, way less effective than presidential campaigns have believed.

8/Even to the extent that, if Romney’s campaign made one purely tactical error, it was massive overspending on wasteful ads.

9/But that’s something I have on authority; you don’t, srry guys. But pay attention to information on TV ad effectiveness.

10/Related question: assuming optimal level of ads is X, what about timing? When should TV budget be spent? Pre-convention?