The September 20 issue of the New Yorker has an interesting article by Ken Auletta (not available online) about Bob Shrum, one of John Kerry’s top advisers. One paragraph in the article particularly caught my attention:
…[M]edia advisers in the Kerry camp had a financial incentive to recommend more advertising. They will divide among themselves about eight million dollars of the advertising budget—with Shrum Devine Donilon getting about five million dollars. By contrast, the Bush campaign’s [chief media adviser Mark] McKinnon says he is paid a flat salary (which he refuses to disclose), and he asked for advice from a dozen advertising executives around the country who meet weekly to propose and scrutinize ads. The Kerry campaign did not assemble an outside team, and turned down a chance to use an advertising campaign created by the filmmaker Errol Morris.
If my memory is correct, the Dean campaign had a similar deal with Trippi, McMahon & Squier (now McMahon, Squier & Associates), the firm in which Dean’s campaign manager was a partner; TMS got a commission on each ad that the campaign bought. I don’t think I spent enough time following the Dean blog and forums to really call myself a Deaniac, but from what little I did see, Dean’s grass-roots supporters were none too impressed by the advertisements that TMS produced.
Update: To be fair to Kerry, Shrum has been effectively demoted; the rising stars in the Kerry campaign are going to help him attack Bush more forcefully, focusing on the mess in Iraq.