Political parties spend big on radio election ads

The election saw the political parties buy significantly more radio airtime than they did in the 2007 campaign, industry analysis suggests.   

According to radio monitoring service Aircheck, 12,280 ads were broadcast in the major radio markets during the campaign.   


Chart: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Gold Coast, Central Coast, Newcastle


The previous election saw Aircheck record 8,029 ads, although Central Coast and Newcastle data is new for the 2010 figures. Excluding those markets, there were 9,630 spots this time round – up nearly 20% on 2007.   

Sydney saw the number of ads almost double – up from 1,482 to 2,979.   

However, a major factor was the large number of political ads broadcast on 2SM, owned by the Labor-sympathising Bill Caralis. The monitoring is unable to take account of whether spots are paid for.   

Radio_political_spend_SydneyAmong the other radio stations, Sydney’s market leaders saw a disproportionately large jump in adspend.   

On FM, Austereo’s 2Day FM had the biggest jump – up from 204 to 478 spots – an increase of 134%.   

Among the talkback stations, 2GB rose from 142 spots in 2007 to 362 this time – up 155%.   

In Melbourne, Austereo’s Fox FM ran 305 ads – up 69% on 2007. Talk station 3AW was up 54%.   

But the political parties turned their backs on new talk station MTR, booking half the ads than when it was music station 3MP.   

In Adelaide there were significantly fewer ads than three years previously, with the drop particularly dramatic for Triple M and 5AA. There were 30% fewer spots run in the city – down from 1,366 in 2007 to 918 this time.   


In Perth the number of ads increaased slightly from 1,913 to 2,118 – up 11%. And in Brisbane there was a 2% decline – from 2126 to 2085.


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