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Campaign ads worth a combined Ft 5.8 bln

Hungary's political parties spent a combined Ft 5.8 billion on advertising in the first four months of 2006, during the run-up to April elections, according to figures based on rate card prices compiled by TNS Media Intelligence and reported in Monday's issue of business daily Napi Gazdaság.

The Hungarian Socialist Party (MSzP), which won the elections, spent Ft 2.2 billion; Fidesz, the biggest opposition party, spent Ft 1.86 billion; junior governing coalition partner Alliance of Free Democrats (SzDSz) spent Ft 857 million; and the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF), the other small party in Parliament, spent Ft 630 million.
Outdoor advertising remained the most popular among all of the political parties, with the exception of MSZP, which spent more on television advertising. For online ads, SZDSZ spent the most.
TNS did not include spending on text or voice messages, rallies, gifts or the cost of making the advertisements. It also noted that the parties may have enjoyed significant discounts, considering the volume of their orders.
Under Hungary's campaign financing law, parties, even with candidates in all of the country's constituencies, would be limited to spending Ft 386 million.