A Serious Matter

Political Advertising in Germany

Authored by: Christina Holtz-Bacha

Routledge Handbook of Political Advertising

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

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

10.4324/9781315694504.ch27

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Abstract

Television in Germany was still in its infancy, when party spots appeared for the first time during the 1957 parliamentary election campaign. Household coverage amounted to only about one million television sets in the election year and slowly increased to four million in 1960 (Beyer, 2016, p. 197). So, parties seized the new opportunity for their advertising even though they could not reach but a minor part of the electorate. At that time, only one television channel (ARD) was available, a second channel (ZDF) only started in 1961. Both were organized as public service corporations, financed by a broadcasting fee and with very limited airtime to be sold for commercial advertising. Political advertising was only permitted during the last weeks of the election campaign. Airtime for electoral broadcasts was allocated for no charge and could not be purchased.

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