Biz of Elections: Media adverts drain campaign budgets

Prior to the Election Day, various political parties cling onto advertising schemes and strategies to carry across their party manifestoes and messages to the public.

Most political parties in a bid to ensure the adverts have an impact on the electorates, spend huge sums of money in advertising on radio, TV, newspapers and on billboards among others.

The Klottey Korley constituency Vice Chairman of the NPP, Alhaji Alui Kabey explains to Citi Business News that for every budget drawn by his political party; at least a quarter is attributed to media advertising.

“Because most of the time with politicians you know even if it is fifteen to thirty minutes, the radio stations will take five thousand to six thousand Ghana cedis.”

Citi Business News’ checks also reveal most political parties spend at least 60, 000 cedis monthly on advertising on media platforms alone.

For example to advertise in a newspaper, a political party is likely to spend between GH¢5,000 to GH¢8,000 for a full page.

But this amount may differ across newspapers depending on the size and number of pages used by the political party placing the order.

With radio however, an advertisement could cost between GH¢10, 000 – GH¢40, 000 depending on the duration and number of days the advert runs.

While with television you will be slapped with GH¢50, 000 for an advertising slot running into a number of minutes.

But these are usually slashed by some media houses.

A Lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School and Political Marketing analyst, Dr Kobby Mensah also explained the massive influence these media advertisements by political parties, have on voters.

“We have categories of voters; there are some who are very much entrenched with their choices and therefore may not be influenced by these political media advertisements. However, even those who are entrenched in their choices would probably want to know that they have actually made the right decision,” he said.

“In addition, there are others who are fairly new to the business of voting and therefore are seeking direction as to where to vote and therefore the advertising actually plays a role in their decision. It influences them and it influences their votes,” Dr. Kobby Mensah added.

But then again as these political parties prolifically compete for the attention of their audience via these media ads, one wonders if they truly make an impact on Ghanaians?

An electorate, Adjei remarked,“My mind is already decided I know who I’m going to vote for per what I want for my country and also from whoever is the president. So when it comes to election the mind is already decided from day one.”

Another, Isaac also intimated, “I’ve already made up my mind to vote for the one I’m going to vote for. So far the three major parties have already brought their manifestoes and we have heard everything so I’ve chosen the one I’m going to vote for.”

Also, a driver at Adabraka, Kingsley,“What is done on radio is just noise making. I’ve already made up my mind on who to vote for.”, he concluded.

By: Jessica Ayorkor Aryee/