The Power of Citizen-Group Public-Policy Advertising: Messages Don’t Need Third-Party Validation to Increase Salience among Pockets of Voters

Daniel Bergan and Genevieve Risner

Michigan State University

Management slant

  • Millions of dollars are spent on political issue ads, but little is known about their effects.
  • Political issue advertisements sponsored by citizen groups can influence the perceived importance about an issue among the general public.
  • Political issue advertisements sponsored by citizen groups can influence levels of knowledge about an issue among the general public.
  • Political issue advertisements can also persuade individuals about the merits of a policy, but only among those without attachments to the major political parties.