Negative Advertising: When the Going Gets Tough, the Ads Get Tougher
When it comes to political advertising, the more campaigns spend and the more knowledge voters have, the more negative the advertising according to a recent study coauthored by Mitchell J. Lovett, assistant professor of marketing at the Simon Graduate School of Business, University of Rochester, and Ron Shachar of Tel Aviv University and New York University. In their paper, "The Seeds of Negativity: Knowledge and Money," the co-authors studied more than 600 political campaigns and found that the more media coverage and ad spending on a campaign, the more negativity in the advertising. Competitiveness directly affects ad negativity, but when you account for knowledge about the candidates and campaign spending, the relationship goes away, Lovett says. When the economy started to decline, more consumer brands went negative in their advertising as well. Lovett speculates that when the going gets tough, the ads get tougher.