Money toward political ads reportedly expected to reach $9.9B in 2020

With campaigning already underway for the next election cycle, money doled out towards political advertisements is reportedly expected to reach $9.9 billion in 2020, according to new data.

That figure is part of a recent advertising forecast from GroupM and is an increase over the past two election years, according to The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. Spending reportedly reached $8.7 billion in the 2018 midterm election year and $6.3 billion in 2016.

Brian Wieser, GroupM’s global president of business intelligence, predicted spending in 2020 would top that of 2018, which was “shocking high,” he told The Journal.

“There’s just generally more activity in a presidential year than a nonpresidential year, so whatever the 2018 number was, 2020 was going to be bigger.”

That sentiment was echoed in the company’s U.S. Media Forecast Report, which was released Tuesday. GroupM, which describes itself as advertising firm "WPP’s media investment group," noted that political ads cause disparities in advertising growth from year to year.

“It seems unlikely that political advertising won’t be bigger in 2020 vs. 2018, and so with an estimate of $10bn in our model for the present time, we forecast +8.2% headline growth for 2020,” GroupM said in the report.


GroupM also noted political advertising’s role in the digital advertising sphere.

“As with other media, political advertising has become increasingly important to digital, probably amounting to $2bn in 2018, or around 2% of the medium’s total,” the company’s report said.