election 2010

TV Political Ads Prospect Divides Parties

The question of whether political advertisements will grace Swedish television this year has divided this country’s political parties, especially among the opposition.

Unlike other countries, Sweden has no tradition of political advertisements on television. The prospect only became a possibility last spring, when private channel TV4 offered parties the opportunity to buy commercial time for the first time.

At that point, the Green Party attempted to rally all the parliamentary parties to pledge not to buy political television-time, but an agreement was not reached.

Nearly a year later, the Green Party is now in the midst of filming its own campaign video, which may very well be broadcast on television. The ruling alliance parties also have plans to broadcast advertisements, as does the opposition Social Democrats.

The xenophobic Sweden Democrats will also buy air-time for political advertisements.

The Left Party just announced that they will not, however, making them the only party that has clearly decided to abstain from a commercial television appearance.

Party secretary Bo Leijnerdal was frank: “It costs too much,” he told Swedish Radio News.

And although the Green Party isn’t sure that it will broadcast its campaign film on television, they are looking at that and other options as well, including Internet distribution.

“We have chosen to do a thorough examination of whether we can spread [the film] in a similarly effective fashion via different digital channels in order to reach our voters in the best way,” party secretary Agneta Börjesson told Swedish Radio News on Sunday.

The Swedes will vote in a new government in September this year.