Gun Control Lobby Outspent Gun-Rights Groups on TV by 7 to 1

Ana Radelat at Advertising Age magazine revealed that in the year after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, gun-control groups spent $14.1 million on TV advertising, compared to just $1.9 million by gun-rights organizations – a 7-to-1 advantage.

Radelat added that the National Rifle Association spent $6.2 million on lobbying, which “may have been the better tactic – especially in a quiet election year.” Gun-control bills failed to pass Congress.

"The return on the investment has been very weak," said Elizabeth Wilner of Kantar Media. "When you are doing advocacy advertising you are looking for Congress to pass something." But not all gun-grabber advertising looked like a failure:

Michael Bloomberg, the outgoing New York City mayor and a billionaire, was responsible for most of the spending on the gun-control side. Founder of Mayors Against Gun Violence, Mr. Bloomberg budgeted $12 million for an ad campaign this year. The effort was kicked off with celebrity-heavy ads demanding a plan but became more targeted as the year went on, even reaching out to "responsible gun owners."

But not all of Mr. Bloomberg's efforts were aimed at swaying Congress. He used his PAC, Independence USA, in an attempt to elect supporters of gun control and defeat gun-rights candidates. In this, Mr. Bloomberg may have had a better return on his investment.

Independence USA spent $2.2 million to defeat Debbie Halvorson, a pro-gun, former one-term House member who was vying to win a special election in Illinois' 2nd Congressional District. The PAC also spent more than $732,000 on ads to help Democrat Cory Booker, former mayor of Newark, N.J., win an October special election for Senate and $3.1 million in independent expenditures and direct contributions to help Democrat Terry McAuliffe, an outspoken proponent of stronger gun control, win the Virginia governor's race.

[HT: Dan Gainor]

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis