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An ad watch is a media report and evaluation of political advertising content. Washington Post columnist David Broder is credited with urging fellow journalists to be more watchful of political advertising messages and making coverage of advertising claims a standard feature of campaign news. Broder called for more ad watches following the intensely negative nature of the 1988 presidential campaign in which political advertising played a significant role in shaping campaign news coverage. In fact, televised political advertising is a prominent feature in most U.S. political campaigns. Televised ads, also known as spots, comprise a significant portion of presidential candidates' campaign budgets and figure substantially in most statewide and congressional elections. Candidates, political party organizations, and issue advocacy groups rely heavily on televised political advertising ...

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