Raleigh update

Since no one else seems to care about Tom Raleigh’s primary campaign, I’ll keep mentioning it if I see something. I was checking the FEC database and saw that he spent $7500 of his own money on billboard advertising. I haven’t seen the billboard anywhere. If anyone has seen it, please post a comment to let us know where it is.

Not that he has a lot of good options, but I don’t think a billboard is the best move. $7500 would have bought a substantial amount of radio time. That’s about what I spent on radio in 2004, and it bought me a pretty good distribution of spots on 4 major area radio stations and four smaller stations in Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie counties. It also would be enough to buy a good run of TV ads on one of the major TV stations.

The distinction is that TV and radio are required by the FCC to give candidates the lowest rate they give to anyone else, no matter how few spots you’re buying. The billboard companies do not have that requirement and will jack you for all they can get (ah, capitalism). Also, TV and radio will reach the entire district. Billboards have a much more limited audience. Finally, on a billboard you can’t say more than about 7 words. If you have a soundbite message (like Stop Wasting Money :-) ), it might work. But if you don’t have that soundbite, it probably won’t take.

If we can find out where the billboard is, it might be interesting to see if he does better in that particular area when the votes are counted. From my limited billboard advertising experience, that amount would not buy more than two billboards, and it’s probably only one. I had a Spanish-language billboard on Route 5 in Amsterdam – cost me $1000 a month for 6 months, but you get a break for multiple months. My hunch is that he bought one billboard in a more high-profile area (like I-90 in Albany) for one month – maybe two boards in high-profile areas.

If you see it, please let me know.

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