Clive Palmer couldn’t buy a seat | radioinfo

Clive Palmer couldn’t buy a seat

Sunday 19 May, 2019
Image: 2GB

Comment from Peter Saxon

By this morning, it seemed that despite spending, by some estimates, more $50 million in advertising, Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party has failed to win a seat in either house of parliament.

As we reported last week, the United Australia Party was the most advertised party during the last five weeks running a massive 11,428 spots, according to Aircheck, equating to a 35.40% share of all political advertising and with spots aired across 41 radio stations and TV channels.

Palmer’s party used every method old and new to sell his message to the public but rather than re-enforce his brand he annoyed and irritated people with the sheer weight of the schedule. 

Does Mr Palmer’s return on investment bring into question the value of advertising?

To the contrary, as legendary DDB Creative Director, Bill Bernbach is attributed to saying, "Nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising."
I wouldn't necessarily call it "good" advertising but there certainly was a lot of it.

Another of Bernbach’s sayings was “The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.”

Clearly, Australia was sufficiently familiar with the Clive Palmer product to know where the truth lies.

Peter Saxon

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Voice of the Flerieu
19 May 2019 - 6:47pm
He might have done better if he'd used a professional voice-over, his voice made it sound as though he was talking in his sleep. Everyone tuned out within a second
Anthony The Koala
20 May 2019 - 3:29am
This issue raises issues about the influence of advertising and the ability of media organisations to influence opinion or be active.

One could see the UAP's advertising blitz as a proxy for voting for the Liberal/Coalition. This was especially so in the last week many of the messages (carts) were against the Labor party.

These advertisements were broadcast on 2GB amongst other media outlets.

Another issue is whether 'free' radio promotions of some members of parliament have an influence on the electorate?

For those listeners to 2GB's programs, the continuous promotion of Mr Tony Abbott did not seem to counteract the active 'grass roots' promotion of his rival Zali Steggall by her team and GetUp!. Perhaps Mr Abbott's strategy should have included more volunteers or more resources for a grass roots promotion. Since this is about broadcasting I won't comment on GetUp!'s failed campaign to oust other incumbent conservative Liberal/LNP candidates.

Nor did the constant promotion on several 2GB programs of asking listeners to vote for Sen. Gen. Jim Molan 'below the line' and numbering 11 other candidates seem to influence Sen. Gen. Jim Molan achieving a quota. According to the AEC, one needs 625124 votes for a quota. Even if one hundred thousand listeners from 2GB voted below the line for Sen. Jim Molan, that would require 500000 plus other non-2GB voters.

We can also go back in history when 2SM had proportionally more listeners than Alan Jones. Two presenters from the breakfast program nominated for the senate and did not succeed.

Then the question arises does the media in general influence the vote. During Zali Steggall's victory speech, there was a heckler in the audience who uttered " 2GB or Murdoch press....." It may well be true for Tony Abbott as illustrated above since 2GB did not manage to get Tony Abbott re-elected.

On the other hand, in the 1950s a radio station was able to mobilise thousands of its listeners to the Sydney CBD as a grown man was pushed in a pram. Similarly a few years ago, 2GB's Chris Smith was able to mobilise thousands of listeners to rally in Canberra against the carbon dioxide tax.

In sum, it appears that advertising and the media in general do not seem to influence who could get voted. This is especially in the promotion of 'selected' candidates. It seems that on the ground active promotion in an electorate works. Unfortunately for Sen. Gen. Jim Molan, it may require extra resources since voting in the senate is a state-wide issue. But then, that is about non-media promotion which is outside the scope of this website.

Anthony of exciting Belfield
20 May 2019 - 8:27am
I am not sure how he may have worked it, but advertising is usually a legitimate business expense. Could Clive's big spend have been at the expense of the taxpayer? Oh dear ...
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