Did Clinton and Obama National Ad Drops Dis the Web?

ClickZ_Campaign08_katefinal.jpgSo, all the news sites are covering the big semi-national ad drops by the Clinton and Obama campaigns. The irony, in this case, I suppose should have been expected: The news sites didn’t get any of those ad dollars. From what I could tell in browsing and refreshing countless pages on big national news sites today, including CNN.com, NYTimes.com, WashingtonPost.com, FoxNews.com and Yahoo News, the campaigns have neglected Web ads when it comes to this big national advertising push.

This is purely unscientific, of course. I may not have been served the ads even if they’re running, or they may not be targeted to New York City, or they may not be running on any of the sites chosen for the test. Still, I figure if these sites did have some big ad buys in, they wouldn’t be running University of Phoenix and Lending Tree ads on homepages and politics sections. They also probably wouldn’t serve up the same pre-roll Netflix and Microsoft ads over and over in news and politics video clips. (See the screen grab below of CNN.com’s Election Center 2008 section displaying a University of Phoenix ad).

The campaigns most likely realized they’d get so much so-called “earned media” out of hyping up national ad launches, there’d be no point in actually paying for Web media, at least in more prominent placements on those sorts of sites. For instance, NYTimes.com coverage features a video companion piece including snippets of the TV ads.

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