Clive-time: How Palmer bought eyeballs during the WA election

No one in the state was spared from the Palmer-rama TV drama.

Some love him. Others hate him. Most think he’s absolutely hilarious.

But regardless of what you think about one of our newest parliamentarians, Clive Palmer, you can’t deny the power of his cheque book.

It’s already given birth to a dinosaur park, looks set to resurrect the Titanic and now it has its eye on a new and more ambitious goal… winning elections.

Last week Prime Minister Tony Abbott attacked Palmer, saying that he hoped the WA public wouldn’t “allow themselves to be bought” by the Palmer United Party’s substantial campaign spend.

Well, it seems he was wrong.

We may never know just how much Palmer spent on advertising his whole campaign, though it is estimated to be around the $5 million mark. Only the Palmer United Party knows the real figure, and like all political parties they would be reluctant to make it public.

But, thanks to some analysis work from Sydney-based ad analytics firm Ebiquity, we do know how much Palmer poured into TV advertising. And the figures are pretty staggering.


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Palmer accounted for a staggering 67 per cent of total ad spend during the four-week WA campaign. He also saturated the market, running just under four times the amount of political ads of the party’s nearest rival, the Greens.


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It gets worse.

Palmer went as far as to experiment with subliminal messaging during the political ad blackout. Banned, like all parties, from running political ads, Palmer instead ran a couple of ads for his Coolum resort a couple of days before the poll. One of the ads is below, and as you can see, it uses Palmer party colours.

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(Source: Ebiquity)

Finally, we would also be remiss if we didn’t at least mention the Greens’ spend -- $116,616 -- second only to the PUP. Goes to show that even the most web-savvy, grassroots campaigns still rely on TV ads to get them over the line.

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