Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

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Political Ads

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | February 22, 2018

No. 1,425

The Achilles heel of advertising, and political ads in particular, is that they are constantly being rebroadcast. Over the course of re-listening you have an opportunity to think about and evaluate what is being said.  Statements that might sound ok, if heard once, often fail to withstand even mild scrutiny.

Ads sponsored by the national committees are especially vulnerable.  The overall tone is usually mean-spirited.  The obvious appeal to bias is, upon reflection, insulting.  Do they really believe I think like that?

They say that attack ads work.  Maybe they do in many cases.  But they also have the disadvantage of repeating the name of the opponent.  After repeated viewing, I actually learn the names of candidates that were unknown to me and quickly forgotten on the first few repetitions.

However, there is one ad being broadcast in the current cycle which I think stands head and shoulders above the others.  I won’t tell you which candidate put it out because this blog does not give endorsements.  The message is, in my opinion, both fair and persuasive. It points out that the candidate has unique training and experience that would qualify him for the job he seeks.  Although the ad doesn’t say so, it is clear from the way it is presented that his opponent is unlikely to have a matching qualification.

Of course, one good ad does not a better candidate make.  But it certainly hits the bulls eye.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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