Setting the Record Straight: Do Ad Watches Help or Hurt?
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Ad watches are a technique for broadcasters to critique political ads. Research evaluating their effectiveness by Ansolabehere and Iyengar (1996) found that ad watches actually helped the candidates being criticized. These results may be due to the authors' choice of ad watches, which were more supportive than critical. Ad watches using critical commentary can reframe the targeted ad and undermine its justification.