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Political Advertising

Lynda Lee Kaid


Political advertising is a form of political communication that uses the mass media to promote political candidates, parties, policy issues, and/or ideas. Advertising messages are generally controlled messages allowing for direct communication with the public and voters without interpretation or filtering by news media or other sources. In the United States, where political advertising is the dominant form of communication between political candidates and voters, political advertising is a paid media form, and candidates and parties purchase airtime or space for their advertising messages directly from commercial media outlets. Since political advertising enjoys strong protection as a form of free speech/free expression under the US Constitution, there are very few regulations or restrictions on the amount of advertising that can be purchased or the content of advertising messages. In other countries political advertising, particularly on radio and television, is either prohibited or tightly controlled. Some countries allow more freedom for print advertising, and, since purchase of broadcast advertising is prohibited, candidates or parties are given free time for promotional messages. The UK and France are examples of such systems. Other countries (e.g., Germany) have a dual system, providing free time on public broadcasting outlets and allowing purchase of time on private stations ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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