MANILA - At least three presidential candidates in the 2016 polls spent a combined P1.4 billion on TV ads in Metro Manila in the first 11 months of 2015, with Vice-President Jejomar Binay spending more than half a billion pesos on TV ads last year.
A Nielsen Philippines Advertising Information Service (AIS) report revealed presidential, vice-presidential and senatorial candidates spending a combined P3,551,572,963 on TV ads in Metro Manila from January to November 2015.
The report showed Binay topping the list of TV ad spenders in Metro Manila. He spent P595,712,579 on TV ads in the National Capital Region (NCR) in the first 11 months of 2015.
On the other hand, Senator and presidential aspirant Grace Poe spent P448,165,555 on TV ads in Metro Manila during the same period.
She is followed by Liberal Party standard-bearer and former Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas who spent P424,869,740 on TV ads in the NCR in the first 11 months of 2015.
Binay regained the lead in Pulse Asia's pre-election survey of presidential candidates in 2016 conducted from December 4-11, 2015.
A separate Social Weather Stations survey, however, showed Binay sharing the top spot with Poe.
Another presidential candidate, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, spent P115,423,468 on TV ads in Metro Manila during Nielsen's monitoring period.
Duterte is a late-comer to the presidential race, announcing his presidential run in late November. He ranked second in the Pulse Asia survey and is statistically tied with the other three candidates in the SWS survey.
Nielsen Philippines did not monitor any TV ads in Metro Manila for two other presidential aspirants: Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago and OFW Family Club Party-list Rep. Roy Seneres.
CAYETANO NO. 1 AMONG VP BETS
Meanwhile, Nielsen also monitored two vice-presidential candidates and three senatorial bets who spent more than P100,000 on TV ads in Metro Manila for 2015.
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Duterte's running mate, spent P398,287,695 on TV ads in Metro Manila during the 11-month period, making him the fourth biggest spender on TV ads in the Nielsen report.
He is followed by Leyte Congressman and senatorial aspirant Martin Romualdez (5) with P310,763,433 and Valenzuela Rep. and senatorial bet Sherwin Gatchalian (6) with P166,952,335.
Las Pinas Rep. Mark Villar placed 7th on the list, spending P165,341,760. Villar did not file his certificate of candidacy for senator last year, opting instead to run for reelection in 2016.
The other candidates on the top 10 list are: senatorial candidate Francis Tolentino (8) with P144,111,505 and vice-presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos (10) with P103,428,819.
Congresswoman Leni Robredo, running mate of LP bet Mar Roxas, placed 11th on the list, spending P91,602,241 on TV ads in Metro Manila during the 11-month period.
Other candidates monitored by Nielsen Philippines are:
(figures are in pesos)
- Isko Moreno - 89,758,439
- Ping Lacson - 86,341,006
- Leila de Lima - 54,498,875
- Jericho Icot Petilla - 52,284,394
- Joel Villanueva - 40,518,240
- Serge Osmena - 21,990,027
- Risa Hontiveros - 20,286,540
- Reynaldo Umali - 14,538,990
- Narombai Maolano Utto - 13,077,762
- Datu Alexander Mama-O - 7,543,818
- Neri Colmenares - 4,362,838
- Rey Langit - 405,000
- Gov. Ramil Hernandez - 345,000
- Chiz Escudero - 30,000
Nielsen also monitored dual ads for the following candidates:
- Mayor Lani Cayetano/Alan Cayetano - 87,885,089
- Mar Roxas/Leni Robredo - 49,468,063
- Jejomar Binay/Gringo Honasan - 43,579,752
All monitored ads totaled 3,551,572,963 pesos, according to Nielsen.
The report said the TV ads were aired in 28 TV stations in Metro Manila including 10 free-to-air and 18 cable channels. Nielsen said it monitored ABS-CBN, GMA 7 and TV 5 from Monday to Sunday from sign-on to sign-off while other free-to-air and cable channels were monitored from 6 a.m. to 12 midnight.
Nielsen said the ad spend is based on published network rate cards and does not include local TV placements airing in specific metro cities such as Cebu, Davao and Iloilo.
Ads featuring two candidates are considered dual ads such those of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and wife, Mayor Lani Cayetano, Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo, and Jejomar Binay and Gregorio Honasan. Nielsen clarified that Honasan's ads were dual ads, meaning not solo.
Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista earlier said there is no law stopping political candidates from spending billions of pesos on political ads even before the start of the official campaign period for national candidates next month.
"The law on campaign expenses only starts during the campaign period. The official campaign period for national candidates starts February 9 while the campaign period for local candidates starts March 25. The meter only starts running on February 9," he said in a radio DZMM interview.
"Any expenses before that period will not be counted against them and the Comelec cannot do anything," he added.