Has the Internet Killed Political Ads on TV and Radio?


The election campaign has been underway since last week and candidates have been active enough to meet with members of the press, business owners and, of course, voters. But for much of Brazil’s electorate, the election will really begin on Friday, August 26, when candidates will be allowed to run ads on TV and radio.

In 2018, Jair Bolsonaro won the presidency despite having only a few seconds of airtime each day. The king of TV and radio that year was Geraldo Alckmin, a former governor of São Paulo in his second presidential bid who, despite the campaign machine behind him, got less than 5% of the vote.

The election four years ago led many to believe that TV and radio ads were a thing of the past. But do they? This week we explore the importance of campaigning on TV and radio, then and now.

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  • Cede Silva is corresponding to Brasilia for The Brazilian report. He has worked for O Antagonista, O Estado de S.Paulo, Veja BH and YouTube channel MyNews.

This episode used music by Uppbeat. License codes: 5UXPEQ2PWQVJABS4, QCGJMVIKPZHOFATL.

Background Reading:

  • We launched a special report election 2022 with everything you need to know about running for Congress, governorships and, of course, the presidency. Buy here! Use promo code Explaining2022 for a 20% discount.
  • Brazil’s 2018 election case proves the danger of social media to democracy, wrote Luca Belli, professor of internet governance and regulation at the Fundação Getulio Vargas think tank.
  • Listen to Explaining Brazil #207: Anitta enters the presidential race, and we discuss the influence celebrity endorsements can have.
  • According to Datafolha, Brazil’s most renowned pollster, the number of Brazilians saying democracy is always better than an authoritarian government has reached its highest rate ever – dating back to 1989, the year of the first direct presidential election. of the country after a 21-year dictatorship. But a simple question does not necessarily reflect a people’s view of democracy.

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