Enough with the ads, already.
That’s what many voters think of the TV advertising blitz currently flooding the airwaves on behalf of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s re-election, according to a poll released Wednesday.
Of the 78 percent of voters who have seen a Bloomberg TV ad, 47 percent said they are annoying, compared with 41 percent who called them informative, a Quinnipiac University survey found. Nearly 60 percent think Bloomberg’s overall campaign spending is overkill.
“I think they’re annoying because you see them so often, and you’re completely bombarded by advertisements,” said Mercedez Perez-Garcia, 23, of Manhattan. “I think it’s money poorly spent.”
The Bloomberg campaign seems to disagree, pouring $12.6 million into TV advertising as of July 15, the date of the most recent filing. It had spent over $36 million on the campaign overall.
By contrast Comptroller Bill Thompson and City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside), the two candidates vying for the Democratic nomination, have spent $2.8 million and $238,000, respectively on their campaigns.
And, according to the poll, Bloomberg, a billionaire who is financing his own campaign, is doing quite well: 66 percent of voters approved of his handling of the job and he would beat Thompson, his likely opponent, 50 to 35 percent.
With that kind of lead, some wonder whether the volume of ads – the campaign has released 20 spots in English and Spanish since the early spring – is necessary.
“It’s absurd,” said Susan Lerner, head of Common Cause New York. “He said voters would be able to judge him on his record. Well, he’s not running on his record, he’s running on his money.”
During his 2005 re-election campaign, Bloomberg spent $30 million on TV ads, according to TNS Media, which tracks ad spending.
A spokeswoman for the campaign, Jill Hazelbaker, declined to discuss the ad buys or the reaction to them, instead pointing to the good news for her candidate.
“We're extremely proud of the fact that two-thirds of New Yorkers approve of the job the mayor is doing but we're not taking anything for granted,” she wrote in an email.
Maurice Carroll, director of Quinnipiac polling, said the mayor might be “wasting his money” because most people say the ads won’t change their vote.
“People tend to say, ‘ah, the damn political advertising. Why don’t they let me watch the Yankees’” said Carroll.
Still, he said, the fact that more than three quarters of voters have seen the ads means they’re working on some level.
One voter interviewed Wednesday, Clive Richards, of Harlem, said he hasn’t paid much attention to the ads.
“He’s trying to manipulate the system,” Richards said. “That can become annoying.”
Marlene Naanes contributed to this story