Obama’s `Bully Pulpit’ — Internet vs Republican National Convention

Photograph by Peter Wynn Thompson/The New York Times via Redux

An Obama campaign worker at the campaign's headquarters in Chicago.

Say the president is looking for a “bully pulpit” on the World Wide Web.

He starts in Columbus, Ohio.

With a purchase of ads on Road Runner’s Web site.

That run of Web ads, timed for the start of the opposition party’s Republican National Convention on Aug. 27 and running for two months until a week from Election Day, will cost $119,768.32.

That may sound expensive, but then Obama for America has hired Bully Pulpit Interactive and paid it $25 million to place ads on the Internet.

The records showing a series of 30-second videos that the campaign plans in Columbus, in the heart of perhaps the most significant of all swing states, come from Time Warner Cable’s welcome disclosure of campaign contracting for ads on its network.

The Federal Communications Commission has gotten television stations in the top-50 media markets to post their political ad-buys on line, another welcome high-tech addition to the old searching of public records at stations. Time Warner, with cable in 28 states, has taken it a step further, launching its own Web site with records of political ad buys.

Obama for America, through Bully Pulpit Interactive, is placing a series of ads on Road Runner’s homepage in the Columbus market, the records show — offering some cable competition for the TV programming coming from the Republicans in Tampa and carrying the campaign through nearly its final two months.

We’ve learned of Bully Pulpit from the reporting of Bloomberg’s Julie Bykowicz. Andrew Bleeker led Obama’s online advertising strategy in 2008. He later formed Bully Pulpit Interactive, a company that develops digital marketing strategy and places online ads.

The company, like any political media buyer, gets a percentage of those payments. Bleeker declined to comment for Bykowicz’s report. But a person familiar with the company’s Obama campaign contract said Bully Pulpit’s rate is less than 7.5 percent, which is what a competitor charges for similar services.

Bully Pulpit says it “helps clients in the public and private sectors create modern versions of what President Roosevelt once called a “bully pulpit,” or a platform, to reach the public. Clients include Obama for America, the USO, Livestrong, the Alliance for Climate Protection, and the World Food Programme.

 

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