THIS presidential campaign is turning out to be the most expensive yet in Philippine political history, but it is also a story of two extremes – profligacy and penny-pinching on political advertisements by the candidates.
In just the two months since the official campaign period began last February 9, six candidates for president racked up a daily average ad spending total of P10.5 million, or almost P633 million in 60 days. By contrast, the remaining three candidates had a total tri-media ad bill of zero, with data by media monitoring company Nielsen failing to yield a single print or broadcast spot bought by any of them.
IT’S A disconcerting paradox to say the least: In their avowed desire to serve in the highest office of the land, the top two candidates for president – Senator Manuel B. Villar Jr. of the Nacionalista Party and Senator Benigno S. Aquino III of the Liberal Party – are now being packaged and sold in the same way profit-driven firms market shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, diaper, infant formula, noodles, drugs for colds and diarrhea, mobile phone cards, beer, and whiskey.
These days, the number of Filipino Internet users is pegged at around 24 million and mobile phone users at around 63 million. Not surprisingly, candidates for both national and local posts have taken interest on those figures, and have been busy putting up complex, interactive websites of their own, even as they litter popular online publications, blogs, and social networks with political propaganda. Text-blasting, or the sending of unsolicited SMS messages, appears to be on the rise as well.
Source: Nielsen Media
JUST a mere month into the 90-day official campaign period, three presidential candidates have already used up more than half of their allowed ad airtime in the country’s two top networks.
This is even as data from media monitoring agency Nielsen Media indicate a relatively tempered ad-spending among the candidates, compared to the three months prior to the start of the campaign period.
HE has racked up nearly a billion pesos worth of TV ad spots, by network rate cards, in the last three months alone, but indications are that Nacionalista Party standard bearer Senator Manuel ‘Manny’ Villar Jr. can comfort himself that so far every centavo of that has been money well spent.
IF the law on campaign spending and political advertising were imposed before the official campaign period began last week, one presidential candidate would have already overspent in the past three months alone, even as he joins four others who would have exceeded the broadcast limit for TV.
IT WAS the perfect formula for another uprising. Factors and forces that conspired to oust a previous president surfaced again to threaten yet another one out of power: a familiar pattern of titillating scandal and media overkill; congressional investigation and official cover-up; street protests and digital demonstrations.
10 GIMMICKS PRACTICED BY NATURAL-BORN POLITICIANS
Candidates use humor and hand signals, symbols and slogans to sell themselves.
FORGET receiving text jokes or sweet messages from now till the end of the canvassing of votes — at least if you’re a supporter of presidential candidate Raul Roco. And if Katropa had its way, even those outside the Roco loop would instead be receiving more messages like this right about: “Good day. Join the KATROPA ni Roco Motorcade on Sun, Feb 8 @ 7 am. Assembly @ UP Diliman Oblation, University Ave. Bring ur friends…pls pass, thanks.”
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