Buying Time - Campaign Ads

Our groundbreaking Buying Time analysis, first conducted in 2000, examines the sponsorship, content, and costs of televised state supreme court campaign ads.

November 3, 2016

Our groundbreaking Buying Time analysis, first conducted in 2000, examines the sponsorship, content, and costs of televised state supreme court campaign ads. Each election cycle, the Brennan Center collects all available television ads that were aired in those states conducting supreme court elections and posts storyboards and video links to the Buying Time website. These ads are coded by the Brennan Center for tone and theme, and this analysis is then used in our New Politics of Judicial Elections report series. The data for each each election cycle, including spending, spot counts, themes, and tone, can be found here. The New Politics studies document the growing threats to fair and impartial courts from big money, special interest pressure, and television air wars, and can be found here.

In order to provide the best available spending information, beginning in 2016, the Brennan Center began posting spending information from multiple sources on its Buying Time pages, including disclosure documents posted to state disclosure databases, ad purchase contracts posted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and estimates by Kantar Media/CMAG. Prior years are limited to data from Kantar Media/CMAG. 

 

Buying Time by Year

2017 | 2016 | 2015

20142013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

2008 | 2006 | 2004  | 2002 | 2000

 


Methodology 

Data on ad airings and spending on ads are calculated and prepared by Kantar Media/CMAG, which captures satellite data in the nation’s largest media markets. CMAG’s estimates do not reflect ad agency commissions or the costs of producing advertisements, nor do they reflect the cost of ad buys on local cable channels. Cost estimates are revised by Kantar Media/CMAG when it receives updated data, resulting in some fluctuations in the reported ad spending. 

Data on spending on ads was also compiled from ad purchase contracts posted by the FCC and from state disclosure databases when available.