(The following graphic represents early September media buys in Columbus, Ohio. It was provided to TheDC by a national media buyer with extensive background buying in America’s most competitive state, and is representative of other examples we have seen):
The cost differential is attributable to the fact that Team Obama bought “preemptable” or or “lowest unit rate” ads — while Team Romney paid for “fixed,” non-preemptable rates.
“Obama could deliver 1,000 points for a fourth as much as Romney,” said one source.
So why didn’t Team Romney negotiate better rates? Since spots are typically not bumped in early September, the notion of reserving non-preemptable ads — in order to guarantee they would air — seems implausible.
According to our source, Team Obama simply did the “due diligence to find where the lowest unit rate was,” a tedious process which “takes manpower.”
Conversely, it appears Team Romney simply didn’t want bother with the hassle. So they threw money at the problem — and walked away.
This, no doubt, saved a lot of time and energy. But it also cost a lot of money.