Clive Palmer spends 100 times more than major parties on advertising

Australian Electoral Commission records show that his company, Mineralogy, contributed more than $80 million to UAP’s 2019 campaign, a figure that includes unspecified expenses in addition to advertising costs tracked by Nielsen.

Despite the expense, the UAP failed to win a single seat. Mr Whealy said a major flaw in the electoral system was that campaign spending was unlimited. He said it was the media’s responsibility to decide whether or not to accept money for these advertisements.

“It’s actually dangerous for democracy to have money like this spent on a campaign”

Anthony Wheaty, QC

“It allowed that pernicious Palmer influence to spread the way he did,” he said. “Unless we, as a community and a nation, force our political parties to pass laws to impose a very durable cap on campaign spending, we are going to undermine democratic principles.

In the last election, the UAP campaigned against the Labor Party and its then leader, Bill Shorten. This time around, the UAP is campaigning on a “freedom” platform centered on opposing COVID-19 policies, including lockdowns and vaccination mandates. The adverts feature Mr Palmer and Mr Kelly attacking both the Liberal and Labor parties, saying they are acting in concert to undermine rights and freedoms.

UAP has also spent more than $6.7 million on 116 YouTube ads — a Google-owned company — since August. The Google Transparency Report shows more than half of the ads shown in the past six weeks. Some cost over $100,000 each.

Neither the government nor the opposition responded to requests for comment on Sunday.

The Sydney Morning Herald and age ran a number of UAP’s political ads, but publisher Nine Entertainment Co refused to run ads that contravene health advice or ATAGI’s vaccine guidelines.

Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party advertisements are often misleading or false.Credit:Screenshot

Independent Senator Rex Patrick called for limits on campaign and advertising spending, saying Mr Palmer was spending “in an effort to build his way to a position of political influence”.

“I hope Australians see this for what it is: a brazen attempt to rig the election in the interests of Palmer and his mining company. Australians deserve honest, smart and committed politicians who represent them in Parliament, not checkbook MPs. It is high time to cap campaign and advertising spending. Democracy demands it.

Sarah Keith, group managing director of advertising agencies Involved Media and Active International Australia, said that although Mr Palmer was one of the biggest advertising spenders in the country today, she did not think he saturated the market.

“The amount he’s spent so far equals the monthly spend on one of five major spending categories, including retail, insurance and quick service restaurants,” she said. . “If 100% of that money was spent on the three free-to-air commercial TV networks, over full-day periods, you’re looking at maybe 500 spots. But his spending is across all media, so it’s hard to calculate the weights. »

Mr. Palmer’s speech at the National Press Club on Tuesday will not be broadcast live on ABC because it does not take place in the usual Wednesday 12:30 p.m. timeslot. The address will air with a 90-minute delay on ABC News at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

With Caroline Webb

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