NCM Declares Movie Theaters a “Politics-Free Zone”

NCM_FirstLook_1While TV networks, websites, radio stations and even front lawns will be filled with political ads for everyone from local to presidential candidates, there’s one place that will be free from campaign clutter – movie theaters.

NCM has declared that its 1,600 movie theaters across the country will be “politics-free zones” this election season. We’re committed to protecting the entertainment experience for the 700 million movieogers that come to enjoy the magic of the movies at theaters in our cinema network each year, and we won’t be accepting any political advertising.

The move to forgo accepting political ads is significant because it is not only good for movie audiences, but for marketers as well.

TV stations in key presidential markets, or markets hosting multiple races, often allocate significant advertising inventory to political candidates and issues. This not only causes more advertising clutter, but in some cases, a brand’s spot may even be bumped in favor of a higher-paying political advertiser. NCM’s advertising partners won’t have to worry about political clutter and pre-emption in our FirstLook pre-show. Brands can not only position themselves alongside the most exciting new movie content, but they can be assured that their message will be heard by a highly-engaged audience without the distraction and negativity of political ads surrounding their spot.

“’Nobody wants to walk away from what will surely be a $4 billion market,’ Cliff Marks, NCM’s president of sales and marketing told Adweek, adding that it’s more important to keep the moviegoing experience entertaining and maintain a safe haven for NCM’s other advertisers. ‘We think brands are going to get really sick of having their image and their brand projected next to these negative ads,” he said. “How is anybody going to remember your brand and your message?’”

And the experts agree. Shanto Iyengar, a professor of political science at Stanford University who has studied the relationship between political and commercial advertising, told Advertising Age that, “many brands are squeamish about the prospect of their ads running after a political attack ad. ‘Political advertising is extremely negative and people despise it,’ he said. ‘Advertisers feel there may be kind of a spillover effect. They don’t want to come right after that political ad.’”

To read more about NCM’s plan to keep movie theaters free of politics (except of course for great films with political plots like Bridge of Spies, Our Brand is Crisis or Suffragette) check out Adweek, the New York Post and Deadline.

Posted in Ad Industry, NCM News

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