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McCain One-Ups Obama With Ad Buy

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It appears that spending $5 million on advertising during the Olympics will get a presidential candidate only the silver medal.

Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain has taken out a $6 million ad buy for airtime during the Beijing Games that open Friday, $1 million more than Democratic rival Barack Obama had previously committed to his own media buy.

The McCain campaign declined to comment. But the public file at NBC Universal confirmed the purchase. McCain ads are to run in a variety of time slots, including prime time.

The broadcast network is airing 3,600 hours of Olympic coverage on NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, USA Network, Oxygen and Telemundo.

Advertising Age, which first reported the buy, said the spending by the two campaigns marked the first substantial buys of national network TV by any presidential candidate in 12 years. More recently, campaigns have targeted their ads to battleground states, in addition to advertising on cable networks.

The McCain campaign, which has committed to federal funding during the general election, must use the money it has raised for the primaries before McCain officially becomes the party's nominee during the Republican National Convention, which starts Sept. 1.

-- Robert Barnes

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