Unexpected increase in covert political advertising this year
The Institute for Mass Information in Ukraine [IMI] reports that the level of political dzynsa” or commissioned but covert political advertising was unexpectedly higher than the level of commercial covert advertising in the first 7 months of 2013.
Although no elections are planned in the near future, the level of political covert advertising during the period matched the findings for a year filled with political events.
In 2011, during the period after the local elections (held in October 2010), the level of commercial covert advertising was always greater than political, and made up around 85% of all covert advertising. No more than 15% of all covert advertising was political.
Already in March 2012, with the parliamentary elections 7 months away, the amount of political and commercial covert advertising had become equal, and in April 2012 85% of covert advertising was political.
Throughout 2013 more than 70% of commissioned material had elements specifically of political commissioning.
IMI investigated which politicians and political forces are effectively continuing their election campaign.
The worst offender in the first half of 2013 was the Communist Party. IMI notes that the Communist Party clearly have lots of money and don’t want to give up their election campaigning, promising everything under the sun
Second worst – the head of the Kyiv City State Administration, Oleksandr Popov and the Governor of the Kyiv Oblast Anatoly Prysyazhnyuk. “If the PR for Mr Popov is clearly aimed at possible elections for Kyiv Mayor, why Anatoly Prysyazhnyuk is so actively posting commissioned material is a mystery.” The latter is however a member of the Communist Party, and the Governor is actively using covert advertising to plug his social initiatives.
In third place is Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov. According to Ukrainska Pravda Arbuzov is one of the most frequent people plugged in regional commissioned material so, IMI notes, it is not surprising that he regularly engages in PR in the nationwide media.
IMI’s list of offenders includes another Mayoral candidate Mykola Katerynchuk (once in Our Ukraine); a number of Party of the Regions members, as well as the Party of the Regions itself. As well as the main offenders, they found covert advertising about Prime Minister Mykola Azarov; the Minister of Social Policy Natalya Korolevska; the Minister of Income and Excise Oleksandr Klymenko; Viktor Medvedchuk and tothers.
“In 2013 covert advertising was the prerogative and those in power and close to them. During the first 7 months of this year, only 2% of the covert advertising in the media under monitoring was from the opposition.