You might think owning TV networks in the Philippines is an advantage during national elections.
But this has not been the case for Bro. Eddie Villanueva, who admits having big problems in getting his message to Filipino voters across.
Villanueva, who owns ZOE TV Channel 11 and UHF Channel 33, said his camp did not expect that rate for placing TV ads – seen as the most effective campaign tool – can be astronomical.
“We only have one problem (in this election): TV ads. It’s very expensive (to place) ads on TV nowadays. I could not believe the rate is that high,” Villanueva told Yahoo! Southeast Asia.
“That’s why many people still don’t know that Task Force Pagbabago Movement has convinced Bro. Eddie to run for the Senate,” he added.
The Jesus Is Lord (JIL) Movement founder said he cannot air his own campaign materials on ZOE TV Channel 11 considering GMA News TV has been named the station’s block timer in a contract.
Even though his TV ads are being played on his other network UHF Channel 33, Villanueva said its effect is nothing compared to broadcasting them in leading TV networks.
“It’s hard to squeeze it in (in Zoe TV) unless GMA News TV gives us consideration. In the business world, it is always strictly business,” Villanueva said.
“The other station, UHF Channel 33, is just starting its broadcast as night TV and if you compare that to the audience of giant TV stations, of course it doesn’t have a chance,” he added.
Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro “Teddy” Casino also admits having a hard time informing the public about his bid for a senate seat without TV ads.
Casino, who has managed to have two 30-second TV ads aired on 10 spots in between popular noon time shows in leading TV networks, said his efforts are not yet enough for public awareness about his bid.
“We really can’t afford what moneyed politicians do,” he said.
In early April, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) revealed that most of senatorial candidates have been placing campaign advertisements on ABS-CBN Channel 2, TV5, and GMA Channel 7.
Comelec also named United Nationalist Alliance (UNA)’s San Juan City Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito-Estrada as the top spender on TV ads.
Team PNoy’s reelectionist Senator Loren Legarda is the biggest spender for radio ads, the poll body added.
“I do hope for giant TV stations to give non-moneyed but equally or more competent candidates a chance to air their campaign materials,” Villanueva called on.
But the religious group assured that the race for TV ads will not stop him from abandoning his advocacy for public service.