Tuesday, December 11, 2007

[The Chosun Ilbo, November 29 2007] Election Advertising Blizzard Starts

The election advertising campaign by political parties and presidential candidates kicked off in earnest with attempts to attract the attention of 37 million voters on Wednesday. The two largest parties, the United New Democratic Party and the Grand National Party were naturally at the forefront.


On the Internet, the GNP’s Lee Myung-bak and the UNDP’s Chung Dong-young can be seen in a rash of video clips. The GNP decided to spend about W5 billion on Internet advertising to expose its candidate to the netizens a total of some 30 billion times. The UNDP will pour about W3 billion into online advertising. The parties will also send text messages to voters -- the GNP a total of 35 million and the UNDP a total of 2 million. For e-mail advertising, which is free and allowed limitlessly, the GNP has already obtained the addresses of some 300,000 people and the UNDP is preparing to follow suit.


Such a massive PR blitz is pie-in-the-sky for minor candidates. Independent and twice-defeated presidential candidate Lee Hoi-chang, who is currently the runner-up in the approval ratings, said, "I didn't know that it would be so difficult for an independent candidate to conduct a campaign. Such a hugely expensive campaign is impossible for me." Lee plans to put 10 ads in newspapers, and 15 ads each in TV and radio. He almost gave up the idea of TV speeches, which cost the most, but is now considering making three five-minute speeches on TV in the last stage of his campaign.

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