With less than a week to go until voting on Saturday and with both the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spending money on TV advertisements in the hope of garnering more votes, the People First Party’s (PFP) advertising budget seems microscopic in comparison.
PFP presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜), who is also the party chairman, said on Friday during a televised presentation that expenditure on the advertising campaigns stood at NT$200 million (US$6.6 million) for the KMT and NT$70 million for the DPP.
DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) denied the figures, but was unable to provide an alternative set of numbers to contradict Soong.
PFP spokesperson Wu Kun-wu (吳崑玉) yesterday said Soong’s figures were calculated using listed standard advertisement rates. He said there was the possibility that actual prices might differ from quoted prices because when -political parties purchase advertisement slots via media procurement companies, there is usually room for price negotiation.
However, even allowing for a 20 percent discount, advertising campaign expenditures still stood at about NT$160 million and NT$60 million for the KMT and DPP respectively, Wu said.
Citing an investigation conducted by a media research company (whose name he didn’t disclose) on statistics for TV spots by political parties for the week of Dec. 25 to Dec. 31, Wu said KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and running mate Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) held first place, with 2,120 advertisements, priced at NT$120 million; the DPP’s Tsai and her running mate Su Jia--chyuan’s (蘇嘉全) came in second with 1,889 ads, priced at NT$74 million; KMT party headquarters came in third with 648 ads, at roughly NT$48 million; and the KMT legislative caucus trailed in fourth with 556 ads, priced at NT$30 million.
The PFP’s Soong and running mate Lin Ruey-hsiung (林瑞雄) did not run any ads during the period.
The PFP’s limited resources meant they could only afford to buy slots in the final week before the elections, Wu said, adding that the party only had a budget of NT$5 million in total for TV ads.
As for ads in mainstream media, Wu said the PFP’s limited resources meant they could only afford to print ads once or twice.
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer