TBT: The Brutal Truth

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

How Media Consultants Rob The People

Walt Shapiro has an enraging article up at Salon that pulls back the curtain, showing us exactly where the brunt of the political campaign ducats go. If you're not a registered Salon Premium member, consider doing so as they're one of the better online media outlets out there. However, if you're not a Premium member, Salon will kick a free site pass to you after watching a brief Flash ad. Here's a snippet:

These days, in a typical hotly contested House race, the media consulting firm will get between 10 percent and 15 percent of the total television ad buy, full reimbursement of production costs, maybe a post-election "victory bonus" and sometimes a $3,000-a-month consulting fee. To convey a sense of how perplexing this all is (especially to the campaign managers who negotiate the contracts), the consultant's percentage fee is calculated based on the TV stations' posted ad rates (the inflated gross) rather than the actual charges (the net). If the prior sentence confuses you, just think Hollywood sleight-of-hand bookkeeping.

What does all this mean to you as a campaign donor? If a congressional candidate budgets, say, $1.5 million for television, less than $1.3 million will be spent on airtime and production costs. The rest (imagine your money with little wings on it flying out the window) goes directly into what might be called the image-maker's beach-house fund.

Let me guess: your words were to the effect of "good" and "Christ" with a choice expletive?

Same here ... and my choice expletive was "Fucking".


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