Message Approved

The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of 2002, also known as the McCain-Feingold Act, includes a provision where political candidates, running for public office at the federal level, must identify their own political advertisements with the phrase, “I approve this message.”  This idea was intended to discourage candidates from running negative ads on television or radio.  However, when ads are produced and aired by outside organizations, such as interest groups or political parties, they acknowledge that their ads are not affiliated with any candidates or campaign committees.  In effect, the interest group or political party is letting the audience know that the ads are independent of any candidate.  Candidates for state office are not required to have an “approval” message included in their ads.

Does it matter to you if an ad is run by a candidate or by an outside political organization?  Did you even know there was a difference between the two?

27 responses to “Message Approved

  1. Actually, this is a very interesting topic. I have watched several ads on television for canidates running and they were generally positive. I did see quite negative ones that were against some other ideology-thats very interesting. I liked the topic on the independent party because it was a totally different political party. From the start, getting on topic I did not know that there was a difference between the two, then again political science is a completely different realm of the world and it is constantly getting better from the very beginning of any type of bill and or law passed. Cool topic.

  2. Sammia Shehayber

    It doesn’t really matter to me if an ad is run by a candidate or outside political organization because they are both trying to get their message out there. I have never really noticed it, and I did not know there was a difference between the two. I thought that when a candidate says “I approve this message” it was just a chance for the viewers to see the candidate; I did not know it was required.

  3. Renad Shehadeh

    It would matter to me if an ad was run by a candidate or an outside political organization, because they tend to persuade viewers votes. Most Americans don’t really educate themselves about politics and when they vote they often don’t know who their running for. So, after the commercial has played viewers actually believe the tales the candidates are saying. Some don’t even take into consideration that it’s a campaign and they are running for a certain spot and they will do anything to get their. I did realize the difference between the two, but no one elses really cares or pays much attention between the two.

  4. It would matter to me because some ads are made by the Republican party, but might not get the endorsement from the Republican Candidate. Therefore, it is good to know that he agrees with the statement being said in the message.

  5. Kristen Colbert

    It would matter to me because political ads are really the only reason how I know what that candidate thinks and wants, so if its coming from an outside source it could negatively affect the candidate. The “I approve this message” that the candidate is required to say, is very helpful for the viewers because that way everyone knows that the ads aren’t just being made up. I do realize the difference between the two of them, but you really have to think about it.

  6. Absolutely, I always try to catch at the end of the message if the candidate says, I approve this message. It’s his commercial, he approved of it, and any of the things said, you know that is coming from his party. If no politician, is saying I approve this message then I don’t believe it.

  7. Beth Triezenberg

    I would prefer that the ads that I see for a candidate are actually run and approved the candidate. I feel that outside organization’s ads might be a true representative of the candidate. They also can be mean and not necessarily on point of what the candidate believes in.

  8. I personally would like to see the ads run by a candidate and to approved by the candidate. It bothers me when I see horribly negative commercials bashing the opponent or opposing view in a far fetched way. They usually dig deep and bring out accusations and exaggerations that are hardly true. I think this is a cheap move. If I see a commercial like that and see that it is approved by the opposite opponent running, I will think less of this opponent. If they have to spend money on research and broadcasting to show the faults of their opponent, then he/she must not be good enough. It would appear instead that the only way he/she can look good is through bringing the other down in an exaggerated way.

  9. Jesse Jacquez

    I honestly did not know there was a difference between the two. I believe the candidates should own up to their messages. Especially if the message is a low blow to the other candidate. I dislike the messages that have nothing to do with politics. I feel that the candidates should stick to their own views in their messages.

  10. Hiu Yan Ip (Iris)

    I think it will definitely be different if an ads is run by a candidate or by an outside political organization because the candidate’s impression will be affected. Nowadays, most of the political information is come from the ads on the television. If people who want to attack other candidate, they will post some negative ads which mislead the voters. It might affect the election’s result too. I don’t know there is any difference between these two. So I may be mislead by those ads as well.

  11. Presley O'Neil

    I did know there was a difference between the two, however I don’t particularly believe it makes any difference. If a political candidate wanted to run a negative ad about their competition, what is keeping them from telling an outside company exactly what to say but not endorsing the ad? You never know who is REALLY doing anything.

  12. Nathalie Hernandez

    Reading this I did not know there was a difference. It would matter to me because ads are a way of the candidate showing what they stand for and if it’s getting approved from an outside political orginization it could be effected in a negative way. In a way I feel that candidates approving the message is a way of us believing them and making it seem legit.

  13. Yes it does matter to me if it is done by the candidate because it is more likely to have truth behind it. If it is not done by the candidate it will usually be more toward the negative side and maybe even faulty. Yes I have learned the difference between the two from my previous teacher.

  14. Honestly, I was not aware that there was a difference. I always thought that each candidate running for officer just produced their own ads and that was it. Now that I have learned this, I think is better if an ad is done by a candidate because there’s going to be more truth rather than rumors in the ads. I enjoy watching the ads every time there is an election because they always come up with something interesting to make their opponent(s) look bad. And at times, they say what the public had no idea ever happened or is going on while this person opponent(s) are running for office.

  15. I believe that they should be forced to say i approve this message. Adults should not be acting like children point fingers at one another and telling lies about each other. If people are telling lies about someone they should be punished in some way.

  16. I was not aware of the difference or the BCRA. I like how the candidates have to state who they are and have the “I approve this message” because it almost helps the voters trust and see what the candidates have to say and also know who’s going against who and also who’s pointing out the flaws of the other candidates. With the organizations they can be a little bit more harsh towards one another than the candidates. I honestly don’t care about who has what ads as long as the ads are honest.

  17. Chris Biernack

    There is a significant difference between the two. Although a the candidate may be a Democrat it doesn’t mean that he agrees with everything that the party says. If the candidate says it then that means he will stand by it for sure.

  18. Marisol Rodríguez

    I think it does matter if an ad is run by a candidate or by an outside political organization because if the candidate is not approving the message being sent then it could be false information. I think people should research about the candidates and not rely on the ads. I did know there was a difference between the two. The only message that is true, is the one being approved at the end of the commercial by the candidate.

  19. William Tobias

    To me it doesn’t make a difference. Even though they say it isn’t the candidate sending the message, you probably know that they know it is being put out there. It is just a cover for the candidate. How about just putting the truth out there about what you are going to do for the country or state or whoever you are going to say you are going to help. Quit with the negative campaigns and tell us what you are going to do.

  20. I did not know there was a difference between the two. That is very interesting. All ads should be run by the candidate. They approve the messages that they are putting out because they will stand behind everything they say cause they intend to do that particular idea. Ads run by outside parties would be filled with bad ads and put down the potential candidate.

  21. Personally, I do not know the difference between an ad that promotes a candidate correctly or incorrectly. And I really don’t pay attention to the ads anyway because I am aware that politics is a cut throat kind of deal. Anyway, the ads never will persuade me whether to vote for one candidate or another. There’s no such thing as bad publicity.

  22. In all honesty i have no clue between the two nor do i think it matters to me. Either way I feel as if these ads are just false representations so i don’t pay much attention to them at all. Its all about their standpoints on subjects not how nice they are in my opinion.

  23. I honestly had no idea that there had to be an approved message slogan at the end of those advertisements. I personally believe the candidate should actually run the advertisement and be the one to speak about his views and suggestions on how to better the city/state. I for one am a true believer of people speaking THEIR minds, not what people say the candidate may or may not do. If anyone should tell us what to expect, such as changes and whatnot, it should be the one actually doing the work, rather than the little helpers that are just following the candidate around and making him look good.

  24. I honestly didn’t know there was a difference between the two. I do believe the candidate should be the one speaking about the changes that should be made for our state or city. But even then i also believe the ads are false advertisement because the candidate can promise one thing and once they’re in office the public tends to see no changes that better our city or state.Whether the ad is approved or not in my opinion it really doesn’t matter because what is promised usually either takes a long time to happen or the candidate just gets our hopes up to get our vote and nothing gets done.

  25. I didn’t know that there was a difference between the two, but now that it’s brought up, i can definitely see the way it can really change things. I think it would give a more honest view on the political candidate if it was him or her directly speaking of whatever the ad is. Because although it is the same point to get the candidate out there, known or have a better impression on them, you hear nothing about them during the ad, and at the end of it here comes a random voice saying they approve of it. versus if it was them directly speaking, i think it would make a difference and it would make it seem more believable even if its not meant.

  26. Michael Wozniak

    To my honest opinion, ads don’t really matter to me, cause the companies that air them may or may not be lying about what they say against the negative ads target. I only care about what the candidate promises to do to improve or nation better.

  27. I did not know there was a difference between the two. But learning this doesn’t matter to me. I never thought that ads were important. In my opinion, ads are false advertisement. What is said in them either never happens or is untrue. We shouldn’t pay attention to them, and pay more attention to what the candidate assures to do for our nation.

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