The ABH editorializes today about the bipartisan bitching and moaning about Cathy Cox's decision to run radio ads about investment fraud targeted to African-Americans.
We don't really have a dog in the Democratic primary on that race yet. We like Taylor personally (who couldn't like the big guy?), but suspect that Cox is a little more electable.
Also, while both campaigns are consultant-driven, meaning that folks up in Washington, D.C. are deciding what you here in Georgia should know about each candidate, Taylor's is more off-putting because it is so slick. You can bet your bottom dollar that Taylor will have the best TV ads and mail pieces.
And, the response from the Taylor campaign (because we're betting that it's Taylor's folks that the ABH alludes to as, "some of the state's Democrats"), is typical of the consultant-driven campaign. Taylor's campaign has to say something, either on the record or not for attribution, because it's what's expected of them.
But, Cathy's radio ads don't really matter. Not this early, and, if they're running closer to time, they probably won't matter much then.
There's an art to designing a good ad. There's an even more arcane art in placing ads effectively. As campaign propaganda, these ads don't measure up in either capacity. In the first place, there's no direct correlation between the, "This is Cathy Cox, don't get screwed by fraudulent investment scams," message, and the "This is Cathy Cox, vote for me in 13 months," message that critics are trying to imply is implicit in the ads. Hell, we'd be surprised if 10% of any radio market you wanted to choose in Georgia, be it black, white, latino, or frat-boy douchebag rock, could even tell you the name of even one candidate for Governor. (Especially the latter category, but we digress).
Also, radio ads alone will not do much to drum up support in any community or demographic (Neither will TV or mail). Anything media-related is going to have to utilize the gamut of genres (meaning TV, radio, direct mail, and oneline communications). Then, it still has to be backed up by a good ground game.
Y'see, it's Cathy Cox's job, her J to the O to the B, to protect Georgians from investment scams. And, the largest demographic groups to be targeted by scammers are, not African-Americans, and the elderly. (If you're elderly and black, you're super-screwed, but what else is new in Georgia politics?) An effective way to reach out to that demo is through radio. If the group most often falling prey to scams like this were young, well-educated, white males who make over $35,000 a year, then Cox would probably run banner advertising on the internet.
She's doing her job. We'll reiterate though, that Marky-Mark (and presumably his "funky bunch" of consultants) are also doing their jobs in complaining about it.
There is one way that these ads are effective beyond their intended purpose, and that's increasing her name recognition. Still, that's the same thing that Taylor does every time he makes a ruckus in the State Senate (man, we love his ruckuses, or is it ruckusi), or for that matter, the same thing the Gubner does when he randomly cancels school. (We are so topical sometimes, it hurts). It's all about letting folks know you're out there doing your job.
Tips, rumors, gossip.