Politics with Michelle Grattan

Andrew Hughes on political advertising - and Clive Palmer

April 29, 2019

ANU marketing lecturer Andrew Hughes says this is the first election where the advertising spend and activity has been more focussed on digital.

He told The Conversation that on Monday, the first day of pre-polling, there was a surge in social media ads - the Coalition had over 230 different ads on Facebook while Labor had over 200.

"The sheer volume of ads is probably the highest we’ve ever seen in Australian politics because of the number of ads just on Facebook alone," he said.

He also spoke about the major parties pivoting between positive and negative ads and the effectiveness of this strategy, personal branding, and the rise of micro-targeting.

Hughes said Clive Palmer's huge advertising spending spree seemed to be working for him - but it raised the question of the need for caps.

Also, "as that tipping point between traditional and social media goes more in favour of social media [...] in the future I believe the conversation will be on how many ads Australians should be exposed to as a quantity, not by dollar value."