Why Are My Commercials Being Preempted?

Why Are My Commercials Being Preempted?

Holly Andrews
Date Published:
Friday, September 1, 2023

3 Things An Advertiser MUST Know During Election Time 

  1. EQUAL TIME RULE -The equal-time rule specifies that American radio and television broadcast stations must provide equivalent access to competing political candidates.The FCC requires stations to accept ads from any "legally qualified candidate” with the commercial time sold at the lowest rate that the station charges its most favored commercial advertisers for the same classes and amounts of time for the same periods. This means, for example, if a station broadcasts a message by a candidate in the 10pm news, it must offer the same amount of time at the same rate to all opposing candidates. Due to the limited inventory, regular advertisers are preempted to make room for the political commercials and this puts a strain on the stations available inventory and rates which can result in a lot of unhappy advertisers.
  2. POLITICAL WINDOW - are the dates the Equal Time Rule act are in effect. Typically 45 days prior to a Primary Election and 60 days prior to the RunOff Election. Stations often refer to this as “politicals”.  Schedules placed in advance may be preempted by political candidates and bonus spots typically do not air during this time frame.
  3. HIGHER RATES - during the political window, advertising rates are higher based on tight inventory. Stations also try to keep rates up since political candidates have the right to the lowest unit rate on the station during that time period.

How To Protect Your Advertising Schedules during Politicals? 

In a highly contested political market with limited broadcast TV inventory, experienced media buyers will protect their clients in advance by re-evaluating their media mix and look into other ways to reach their target audience 

 Options to consider:
  • Flight schedule around the political window and election dates 
  • Expand TV dayparts/programming in areas with less political demand (Local news will have heavy political demand)
  • Buy non-preemptible programming and sponsorships 
  • Sports Packages
  • Non news cable networks 
  • Non news radio formats 
  • Digital audio as an extension of your radio buy 
  • Podcasts
  • Digital video (OTT) as an extension of your TV buy 

Advertising during a political year can be tricky. The Moran Group is knowledgeable and able to customize a strategy to reach your target audience effectively and efficiently during this upcoming political season. 

Give us a call today https://www.moranadvertising.com/

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