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Streaming service Hulu says it will begin accepting ads on controversial political issues such as abortion rights and gun control.
The policy change follows a backlash from Democratic groups on social media earlier this week protesting the fact that the streaming service was refusing to run some of their ads.
“It was very troubling for us that they hindered our ability to communicate gravity when we’re in it,” says Julie Norton, founding partner at Mosaic Communications, a media consulting firm that buys ads for Democratic clients.
Since Hulu’s parent company, Disney, announced Wednesday that it would align the streamer with its cable service and allow political ads to air, Norton said his company may now be able to work with the streamer.
“We just have a broader definition of television these days,” Norton said. So these platforms are a very important way to get our persuasive ads to voters.”
Unlike TV networks, streaming platforms like Hulu and Netflix are not required to follow these rules. Communications Act 1934 – A law requiring radio and television to provide political advertising with equal access to airwaves.
Broadcast TV is expected to continue to dominate this fall’s cycle with more than $4 billion in election advertising, according to Steve Passweiter, vice president of political advertising monitoring firm Kantar CMAG.
But Passwaiter said streaming services have a lot of potential to reach younger, more segmented audiences.
“It’s become the new darling of the political set,” Passweiter said. And probably by the time this cycle is over, a billion and a half dollars will find its way into these streaming media supports.”
Passwaiter said it won’t be long before broadcasters become more like broadcast and cable channels in terms of the volume — and array — of ads across the political spectrum.
But Mike Shields, founder and partner at Republican political marketing and strategy firm Convergence Media, said his firm is waiting to see who can advertise with Hulu and how it handles those ads before calling it a win for its clients. to know
“Conservatives have a right to be skeptical when something like this happens to make sure it’s done fairly and in a balanced way,” Shields said.
“Hulu is now accepting nominations and airing ads covering a wide range of political positions,” Disney said in an announcement shared with NPR via email. But the company still “reserves the right to request editing.” [to meet] industry standards.”