Online political advertising remains high on the agenda of newspapers, with separate seminars held this week by The Washington Post and The San Diego Union Tribune’s SignOn San Diego. The Washington Post seminar was coordinated with The Laredo Group as part of a sales training effort, while the San Diego event was put on by The E-Voter Institute (which I serve as an advisor).
At the San Diego event, Tacoda leader Dave Morgan touted the incredible addressability of online sites via issue-based targeting; life stage targeting; message segmentation; re-targeting and the ability to combine ad campaigns with demographic targeting, thanks to newspaper registration efforts. Through New York Times Direct, he marveled, “The New York Times sold people who are particular to particular columnists,” such as Republican moderate David Brooks or Liberal Paul Krugman.
But the political consultants, ad agencies, and vendors gathered at the San Diego meeting didn’t seem convinced that tele-democracy has arrived – except for fundraising and communications. UCSD Professor Thad Kousser, for instance, joked that “you should raise all your money on the Internet, and spend it all on direct mail.”