Interest group uses radio to focus FL on BP oil spill


The Environmental Defense Action Fund wanted to make sure politicians in the state of Florida are fully on board to use fines charged to British Petroleum to restore the damaged Gulf Coast. But how to break through when a reported $20M in political advertising is swamping state television stations? Easy – use radio.

The group says it is likely that BP will agree to pay in the neighborhood of $20B-$25B in advance of hearings in New Orleans on the topic scheduled in about a month. And it wants to make sure that the payments go toward fixing what BP damaged.

“Florida, the Gulf Coast states, and the nation’s economy are still suffering from the BP oil disaster, so we wanted to highlight this vital issue before the nationally televised presidential debate tonight and the first Gulf state primary on Tuesday,” said Elizabeth Thompson, director of congressional affairs & president of Environmental Defense Action Fund. “All candidates for public office need to know that newspapers and voters in Florida and the Gulf Coast across the political spectrum consider support for this Gulf restoration bill an important litmus test to determine which candidates they will support.”

Another goal of the two-day $30K radio advertising flight is to build support for the bipartisan Gulf restoration bill in the Senate and House — the RESTORE the Gulf Coast States Act (S. 1400/H.R. 3096) — which would direct any fines associated with violations of the Clean Water Act to the restoration project. The bill is supported by both of Florida’s US Senators, Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), along with numerous other US representatives from the Gulf region.

RBR-TVBR observation: While we believe radio is an excellent choice for primary political messaging for a number of reasons, its role as an available alternative when television schedules are booked solid cannot be overlooked.