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Latest update : 2008-08-06

Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain have spent four and five million dollars respectively to buy advertising time during broadcasting of the Olympic Games on US television.

As US athletes go for gold in Beijing, John McCain and Barack Obama will be waging their own private battle with multi-million-dollar advertising buys during US network NBC's Olympic coverage.
Industry paper Advertising Age reported on Tuesday that Republican White House candidate McCain had bought ad time worth six million dollars, a million more than Obama's package, ahead of the Games, which open on Friday.
The nationwide advertising blitz will secure spots for McCain and Obama on the nationwide NBC network, cable news channel network MSNBC, the business channel CNBC and other outlets airing live and tape-delayed Olympic programs.
Advertising Age said the two national buys were the first substantial nationwide advertising purchases by presidential candidates in 12 years, as White House hopefuls normally concentrate on battleground states.
There was no immediate comment from the McCain campaign.
Advertising Age reported in July that Obama had taken out a five-million-dollar advertising buy, to take his campaign to Americans settling on their couches to follow their favorites in Beijing.
Summer Olympics, which coincide with US general election campaigns, normally signal a quiet period on the campaign trail, with candidates forced to cede the media spotlight to American athletes.
But given the 12-hour time difference between the US east coast and Beijing, and the already fearsome nature of this race, it was not clear if the rule would hold in 2008.
The Games close on August 24, the eve of the Democratic National Convention in Denver, which will formally crown Obama as the party's White House champion.
The Republican National Convention follows from September 1 to 4 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Date created : 2008-08-06