Financial Times: Donald Trump adds paid-for TV ads to freewheeling campaign


“Getting earned-media versus paid-media is really one of the great skills of the modern campaign," said Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, which promotes transparency in politics.

After Mr Trump appeared on the variety show Saturday Night Live , his Republican rivals were granted the right to appeal to individual NBC local affiliates for 12.5 minutes of free airtime on NBC in states where they had made campaign appearances. Yet Ms McGehee noted the equal time rule did not apply to any news programmes, even those such as The Tonight Show which were still considered “news informational”.

Ultimately, Ms McGehee said, Mr Trump’s ability to generate free coverage remained one of his most powerful tools, even as he began to dabble in paying for advertising.

“Trump has figured out that being outrageous gets him all the media he wants. Whereas the independent group supporting Jeb Bush is forking over millions to get out on the air, Trump has figured out how to get more coverage without spending a penny.”

To read the full story at the Financial Timesclick here.