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-Spencer L. Simons, former Director, O'Quinn Law Library and Associate Professor of Law



Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Political TV Ad Archive


With the election just 26 days away, it’s time for another flurry of political campaign ads on television. This year, there is a new online resource for information about those ads. The Political TV Ad Archive, a project of the Internet Archive, is a searchable video library of this election season's political ads, along with metadata and fact-checking items from journalistic sources. The metadata categories include the subject of the ad, who sponsored it, and where and when it was aired.

A word of warning: the archive is not comprehensive. During the primaries, it collected ads from 20 markets in nine states. In the general election season, it is collecting ads from major broadcast stations in ten markets in ten battleground states: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It also collects some ads that may air exclusively on social media. Even with its limited selection, however, the archive is a valuable resource for anyone interested in political advertisements, campaign spending, or the state of electoral politics in general.

You can learn more about the archive on its About page, or by watching this video.

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