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Canada election 2019: TV and radio advertising of the main parties

Jo Loup Nov 4, 2019 8:04:23 PM
Canada election 2019

This summer, prior to Canadian elections, the Federal Elections Act was amended to allow anyone to run a political ad, including you, your aunt, or even your company, on TV, radio or other digital platforms. They also implemented spending limits per advertiser. We know how this impacted some social platforms, where Twitter  has now banned political ads and Facebook is being pressured to at least moderate it.  But how did it affect advertising on TV or radio?

Large unions who typically spend significant sums on advertising during this time period now have to register with Elections Canada and disclose what they are spending. What impact did this have on spending across Canada?  We took a look at TV and radio data, using Conex, to see what the impact was for each party across the different major markets.    

Our TV spots ad tracking data can be quickly accessed using our ConexAPI query builder and merged with radio RADTracker data to create this interactive dashboard (click the arrow at the bottom of the dashboard to view a second slide with radio advertising). 

Points to note:

  • TV activity was heaviest in Montreal Franco where advertising for all parties totaled 4,374 Adult GRPs  compared to 955 in Calgary which had the lightest activity.
  • Radio activity was heaviest in Vancouver where 3,381 spots ran. Again Calgary had the lightest activity. In fact none of the major parties advertised on radio there.  Perhaps they felt the outcome was inevitable?
  • The Conservative party had the highest share of TV advertising in all measured markets.
  • The NDP Party's radio advertising only appeared in the final week of the campaign. As expected, Vancouver took the lion's share of activity in the final week, out-shouting the Conservatives by 535 spots.
  • The Green Party had the strongest TV presence in the Vancouver/Victoria market.