In Australian election campaigns, exorbitant amounts of money are spent on advertising. Our political parties rely on wealthy donors, and our political leaders spend enormous amounts of time and energy raising money.
In the past decade, we have seen other groups with deep pockets, including mining companies, the tobacco industry, trade unions, lobby groups, activists and multimillionaires, buying ads and using them to try to influence the political agenda.
Analysis of spending by the major parties in July and August 2013 across television, print, magazine, radio, leaflets and billboard advertising, showed the Coalition spent $6.82 million, the ALP just over $4 million and the Palmer United Party $3 million during the election campaign.
Trade union advertising amounted to $2.3 million. The two biggest spending lobby groups were the Australian Salary Packaging Industry Association and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association.
The power of television means the parties are willing…
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