Even with the pandemic and the advancement of digital, printed material leads candidates’ expenses | Election in Numbers


Almost 20 days after the start of the electoral dispute and in the middle of a pandemic, the candidates’ partial accountability shows that they have prioritized campaign strategies of the traditional model. Expenditure on the production of advertising by printed material leads, for the time being, with about 26% of the resources destined for this purpose.

  • In two weeks, candidates injected more than R $ 40 million into their own campaigns

In the list of the ten items with the highest expenses, the production of radio, television or video programs, which is usually more expensive, appears in second place, with a total share of 15%. The expenses contracted by candidates for councilor and mayor amounted, until this Thursday (15), R $ 128.9 million.

  • More than 3,000 candidates donate more than the declared equity to the campaign itself

Candidates’ main expenses – Photo: Aparecido Gonçalves / G1

Due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic of the new coronavirus and the dissemination of the digital communication model, a greater participation of expenses with the promotion of content on social networks was expected. But this item represented, for the time being, only 4% of expenses, or just over R $ 4.9 million.

  • Two out of five candidates declare that they have no assets in these elections; 2% are millionaires

Another cross made by G1 shows that the average expenses with content promotion tend to be higher in the southern and southeastern states, and minors in the Northeast, North and Midwest regions.

As there are differences in the characteristics of the disputes for the position of mayor and councilor, the G1 compared the expenses of these two groups.

Candidates for councilors throughout Brazil spent proportionally more on the production of print advertising, about 41.6%, when compared to candidates for mayor (20.9%).

The differences in the two groups of applications are also evident in the item that ranks second in spending. While the candidates for mayor bet more on the expenses with the production of programs on radio, television and video (19.9%), the councilors allocated more resources for “advertising with stickers”, which represented 16.7% of their expenses.

Expenses contracted by application – Photo: Aparecido Gonçalves / G1

In the evaluation of the professor of the Department of Social Communication at UFMG and researcher associated with the National Institute of Science and Technology in Digital Democracy Camilo Aggio, the differences in campaign expenses of candidates for councilor and mayor are expected, due to the characteristics of the dispute of these two positions.

According to the researcher, some factors may explain the candidates’ greater interest in the traditional model of communication with the voter. The first is that there is still high resistance within the command of the campaigns to adopt and invest more in the digital model, because the use of printed material or TV is seen as something that “has always worked”.

For the teacher, another factor that needs to be considered is that many campaigns take place in small towns, where the traditional model of communication between candidates and voters prevails.

“As we know, elections have, say, their specific literary genres. A proportional dispute does not fit into the same genre as majority disputes. Each has its specificities, including in terms of communication. Likewise, national disputes differ from regional disputes that differ from municipal disputes “, explains Aggio.

“And what we have at that moment are municipal disputes and, therefore, many of the local elections are inserted in medium and small municipalities in which the political culture is defined much more by the logic of tradition and continuity than of innovation”, completes the researcher.

According to the UFMG professor, the use of printed material in many municipalities is almost a necessary condition for voters to consider the candidacy.

“Let us think, as an example, of the very traditional logic of communication of the so-called ‘santinhos’ and all the folklore that surrounds them: they are so inserted in a traditional logic that adopting them, even as a priority, is a condition for a campaign to be seen as a campaign really. Not having them is practically a sign of amateurism “, analyzes the professor.

“And, of course, in this cultural context, there is an expectation of the electorate to receive these materials either to become aware of the existence of a campaign as genuine, with a photo and number, either to decide by vote, or to engage in a campaign”, he points out .

Spending on printed materials by party – Photo: Aparecido Gonçalves / G1

The cut in candidates’ expenses considering the parties shows that MBD, PSDB and DEM lead the total expenses with the production of print advertising. In the case of disbursements to boost content, candidates from Novo, PSDB and PDT have so far presented the largest sum of expenses. In this type of expense, the MDB occupies the 10th position.

For the professor at UFMG, there are few elements that help to explain this distribution of spending on boosting, but he highlights some characteristics of the Novo.

Spending on content boosting by party – Photo: Aparecido Gonçalves / G1

“The Novo party is a new party with many young cadres, including digital natives, who certainly are not only immersed in these networks every day, but their voters tend to be. We cannot fail to forget an important detail: the number of followers and employees is also an expression of activism and vote “, says Aggio.

“This, perhaps, is an explanation for Novo being among those who invest the most in boosting, besides, of course, the possibility of the ideological decision not to use electoral funds to imply a low campaign budget, which leads to the hiring of less expensive services. ”, He concludes.

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