Jack Myers is the leading analyst and forecaster of media economics.
John McCain said last night, in the third Presidential debate, he plans to do away with the Defense Department Marketing Assistance Program. This is the Congressional spending allocation that enables the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard, plus the National Guard, to advertise for recruits.
It's only a secondary issue that this will cost media companies and ad agencies billions over the next few years. The more important issue is how our nation will convince young Americans to enlist for military service, especially when they will be given the option of community service?
Senator Obama's support for preventative medical care is another little noted but important key point of difference with Senator McCain that emerged from the debate. Under Obama it is far more likely that insurance plans will cover alternative medicine, including acupuncture, therapy, and government approved herbs and vitamins. This category alone could more than double the current spending by pharmaceutical companies, and would give a boost to local market media as Alternative Care centers compete with traditional medicine. Again, a McCain presidency is likely to bring this windfall to a screeching halt.
McCain and Governor Palin have also cost the ad community, and America, two very durable, lovable and descriptive icons: Joe Six Pack first and now Joe the Plumber. Pity the poor person named Joe who is either a plumber or is buff with rippling muscles and is also a Democrat. He (or she) has to change his name to Bill, or Jim… certainly not to John.
Neither candidate called for computer literacy for our children, with computers for every child, as has been advanced by Nicholas Negroponte, along with Bill Gates.
Of course, for balance, it's challenging to estimate the potential cost to the economy of Barack Obama's call for parents to turn off their kids' TV sets and put away their videogames. Maybe advertisers can begin underwriting school books and learning programs. Maybe every childhood computer can come with a McDonald's and a Coke.
The most astounding suggestion I heard McCain make, toward the end of the debate, was the idea of allowing returning soldiers to become teachers with no training or certification. This would litter our school system with teachers trained in military regimen yet many of whom are under educated and unprepared. Is the idea to completely turn our schools into armed camps?
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