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A Functional Approach to Political Advertising
Unformatted Document Text:  4 Patterson and McClure (1973) argue that political advertising has not provided voters with meaningful information by emphasizing image material while ignoring political issues. The difference between issue and image is not always clear because the image concept has been used differently in two ways. First, image has referred to the visual likeness of the candidate; here, image is a visual impression or a graphic presentation. Second, image is used to refer to the character attributes of candidate (Boorstin, 1972). In this vein, image is a projection of a candidate’s characteristics (Joslyn, 1980), whereas issue refers to the policies of a candidate (Kaid, 1982). Kaid and Sanders (1978) define issue advertisements as those that are concerned with politics and civic problems. Shyles (1986) points out that image advertising is concerned with the candidate’ projected personality traits and character attributes, such as compassion, empathy, integrity, strength, activity, and knowledge. Joslyn (1980) further explains that almost all campaign visuals emphasize image factors. Garramone (1986) suggests that image advertising focuses on the “sum of the perceived personal and professional characteristics of the candidate” (p.236). Benoit (1999) suggests that issue versus image category is not adequate to discuss the topics of the campaigns because the character can be an important issue in the election campaign. To avoid this confusion, policy and character are used in this study. Positive versus Negative Advertising There is a concern that candidates heavily rely on negative advertising, which causes voters’ cynicism against elections (Pfau & Kenski, 1990). However, most studies on political advertising report that positive advertisements outnumber negative ones.

Authors: Lee, Cheolhan. and Choi, Yun Jung.
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Patterson and McClure (1973) argue that political advertising has not provided voters
with meaningful information by emphasizing image material while ignoring political
issues. The difference between issue and image is not always clear because the image
concept has been used differently in two ways. First, image has referred to the visual
likeness of the candidate; here, image is a visual impression or a graphic presentation.
Second, image is used to refer to the character attributes of candidate (Boorstin, 1972).
In this vein, image is a projection of a candidate’s characteristics (Joslyn, 1980), whereas
issue refers to the policies of a candidate (Kaid, 1982).
Kaid and Sanders (1978) define issue advertisements as those that are concerned
with politics and civic problems. Shyles (1986) points out that image advertising is
concerned with the candidate’ projected personality traits and character attributes, such as
compassion, empathy, integrity, strength, activity, and knowledge. Joslyn (1980) further
explains that almost all campaign visuals emphasize image factors. Garramone (1986)
suggests that image advertising focuses on the “sum of the perceived personal and
professional characteristics of the candidate” (p.236). Benoit (1999) suggests that issue
versus image category is not adequate to discuss the topics of the campaigns because the
character can be an important issue in the election campaign. To avoid this confusion,
policy and character are used in this study.
Positive versus Negative Advertising
There is a concern that candidates heavily rely on negative advertising, which
causes voters’ cynicism against elections (Pfau & Kenski, 1990). However, most studies
on political advertising report that positive advertisements outnumber negative ones.


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