AD INFINITUM: SPENDING NEARS $500 MILLION IN GEORGIA’S SENATE RUNOFFS

Atlantans in particular are finding political ads to be all but inescapable.

“The candidates are painting dogs here,” says Dave Fitzgerald, CEO of Atlanta-based agency Fitzco, joking that the only conceivable ad inventory left might be in the form of out-of-home rendered on area canines.

“They’re all crossing the line with personal texts,” Fitzgerald says. “Programmatic buys have suppression techniques, to make sure you don’t get over-messaged. Both parties are crossing the line with personal texts. There is seemingly no suppression strategy for political advertising in 2020.”

Claire Russell, head of media at Fitzco, adds. “There’s a difference between targeted advertising and breaking and entering. As an industry, we carefully consider the strategy, context and creative for how our brands show up. This flood of unprompted and unsolicited texts and political bombardment in general degrades the work of our business, encouraging the view that advertising is both irritating and irrelevant.

“In Georgia right now, anywhere you can put a political ad, there is one. The extreme saturation makes you question the incrementality of the investment, too. What’s the impact of that next spot, text, billboard or banner on top of hundreds of millions in spend already? And sadly, think about how much progress we could make against something like hunger instead. It encourages people to think about advertising as irrelevant and unasked for. … This political advertising is just a bombardment.”

Russell notes that the recent barrage of ads—including a slew of unwelcome text messages—have had no impact on her at all. She’s already voted.

“If we were strategic planners for a campaign, we’d really be looking at who hadn’t made up their minds. It feels like they’ve ignored that strategy.”

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