Political Advertising in Australia

The Dominance of Television

Authored by: Rodney Smith , Stephen Mills

Routledge Handbook of Political Advertising

Print publication date:  March  2017
Online publication date:  February  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138908307
eBook ISBN: 9781315694504
Adobe ISBN: 9781317439783


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Australian election advertising has taken many forms since the earliest colonial contests of the 1840s. Television became part of the advertising mix after its introduction in 1956 and rose to dominance among advertising media by the early 1970s. Although television has faced a recent challenge from the Internet and new media, it remains the premier advertising medium for Australia’s major political parties, as well as governments and interest groups wanting to inform and persuade voters. This chapter sets out the key features of the Australian political system that have shaped election advertising in the television era. It provides a history of the main shifts in the content and use of television advertising before evaluating the recent rise of Internet and new media campaigning. The chapter then outlines Australia’s relaxed regulatory regime for election advertising and considers the effects of advertising on voters and political parties.

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