"Trump Effect" Boosting Campaign Ad Spends

Source: Borrell Associates

The GOP frontrunner might not be spending much on ads, but rivals and PACs are digging deeper to attack.

This story first appeared in the May 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

The unexpectedly fierce presidential race will help push political ad spending to an all-time high in 2016. A new report from research firm Borrell Associates predicts $7 billion will be pumped into broadcast and cable spots this year, up nearly 25 percent from 2012, with $916 million hitting radio. Digital advertising will cross $1 billion for the first time as candidates (especially millennial favorite Bernie Sanders) court cord-cutters. While state and local races are fueling growth, there's a factor Borrell calls "The Trump Effect."

The GOP frontrunner might not be spending much on ads, but rivals and PACs are digging deeper to attack. The deluge caused Borrell to up its previous forecast by 3.1 percent. Says the report, "Overall advertising will be higher despite Trump's adeptness at unpaid media attention."

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