From The Economist Apr 26th 2014
A look at the pros and cons of Britain’s favourite political campaign tactic.
The only form of political advertising allowed on British television is the party political broadcast—stilted affairs watched by few. So politicians spread the word with leaflets, posters and junk mail. In 2010 they spent £7m ($11m) on outdoor advertising, nearly a third of total political ad spending, according to Nielsen, a market-research firm. Scottish nationalists, flush with cash from a lottery-winning couple, will do battle by billboard in the run-up to this September’s independence vote.
Is this wise? For most products, outdoor advertising is “the worst-performing of all offline media”, says Ian Fermor of Ebiquity, a company that measures such things. Defenders of the medium say this ignores the potential for longer-term brand building.