Study: GOP Was More Skillful With Online Ads

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Republicans did a better job than Democrats advertising online during their campaigns. Neither took full advantage of the Internet, however, according to an online advertising report released by AdRelevance.

The report, Electing Not to Advertise: Campaign on the Web, revealed the latest trends in political advertising online from July to October, said Marc Ryan, director of media research at AdRelevance, Seattle, a Jupiter Media Metrix company.

It showed that Democrats and Republicans logged more than 17 million online ad impressions combined. Non-party-affiliated organizations, however, outnumbered both political parties by running more than 100 million online campaign impressions.

"The Internet is really one of those mediums that can lend itself well to a political campaign, especially with its capability of doing some heavy targeting and finding specific markets," Ryan said. "And that's really what this election is about, finding specific groups of people and making sure that you're catering to their interests -- that wasn't being taken advantage of by both parties."

Republicans embraced ad opportunities by advertising throughout the campaign. The party ran two small online ad campaigns in July and August, while Democrats concentrated all banner impressions in one August campaign. The two Republican Internet ad campaigns resulted in 1 million-plus more impressions than the single Democrat online campaign.

While Democrats relied on one banner at the Yahoo site for the entire online campaign, Republicans have used 20 unique banner ads on more than 35 sites. The report revealed that Republicans are building a database of e-mail addresses for future campaigning and for encouraging grass-roots organizing through word of mouth.

The report also showed that non-party-affiliated organizations are turning to Internet advertising to build awareness for their election coverage or are providing voters with the information prior to the Nov. 7 election.

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