The Effect of Attack ads on political campaigns - Research Paper Example

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The Effect of Attack ads on political campaigns

Moreover, Frith & Mueller (2010) notes that political advertisements can be classified into three categories: ‘attack, advocacy and contrast’ (Frith & Mueller 2010, p.59). Attack ads focus on ‘the faults of the opponent’ (Frith & Mueller 2010, p.59). Advocacy ads refer to the capabilities of a candidate, without referring to the opponent (Frith & Mueller 2010, p.59). As for the contrast ads, these are a combination of the above, referring both to qualities of a candidate and ‘to the faults of his opponent’ (Frith & Mueller 2010, p.59). Two popular political ads are the following ones: a) the ad entitled as ‘Daisy Girl’ was used in the presidential elections of 1964 (Roberts & Hammond 2012, p.5). The above ad, which aimed on causing fear to voters in regard to the potential effects of their voting preferences, showed ‘a small girl plucking the petals off of a daisy’ (Roberts & Hammond 2012, p.5). The next scene showed a nuclear explosion (Roberts & Hammond 2012, p.5). Voters were asked to avoid voting the nominee of Republican Party who could possibly ‘lead the country to a nuclear war’ (Roberts & Hammond 2012, p.5); b) another popular attack ad is entitled as ‘the 3am phone call’ (Roberts & Hammond 2012, p.5) and was used by Hilary Clinton in the presidential elections of 2008. The particular ad, which can be characterized as a policy comparison ad, aimed to highlight the lack of experience of Barack Obama, compared to Hilary Clinton, in facing emergent issues.The ad entitled as ‘Daisy Girl’, as presented above, has faced strong criticism. Many political analysts did not accept the fact that one of the candidates of the presidential elections was portrayed as a strong supporter of piece, referring to Johnson, while the other was characterized, referring to Goldwater even if he was not named, as a supporter of war (Sparks 2012, p.223). Such perspective could not be accepted since the candidate who promoted this attack ad. ...Show more


In the paper “The Effect of Attack ads on political campaigns” the author analyzes the potential effect of attack ads on political campaigns. Reference is made to the characteristics of these ads and their implications, both for the persons involved and for the political system.

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