Referees' reports - 2011
RLCS has decided to adopt the Open Peer Review system, which involves
publishing the article's reviews and disclosing reviewers' names. This
action is part of RLCS's editorial transparency and Open Access
"The political attack ad"
This article analyses a topic of undoubted interest for the field of Communication: the role of the attack ad in the electoral processes.
The work is a review of the attack ads since they began to be used in Spain, in 1996, up until the recent elections.
The structure of the article is clear and includes all the sections necessary for a text presenting research results.
The development of the theoretical framework reflects a deep knowledge of the subject; the methodology is appropriate to the object of study; the writing of the article is correct; and the way the results are presented and discussed allow the reader to get a clear idea of the potential influence of negative campaign spots in particular contexts.
The publication of the article is recommended. Blanca Chong-López, Ph.D. – Autonomous University of Coahuila - Mexico.
Reports on the article:
This article examines the campaign spots broadcast in Spain from 1977 to 2008. The time of analysis is very broad and representative to learn about political advertising in Spain. In addition, the theoretical introduction presents documentary sources and classic theories, such as Aristotle, or more recent theories such as the Yale Group and the contributions of Hovland, Huen, Koestler and Janis.
The methodology section indicates that the videos were analysed through analysis cards, which collected relevant data such as: subject, content, narrative discourse, date or type of campaign. Before addressing the results, the article analyses in depth the case of the 1964 Daisy Girl spot (Johnson vs. Goldwater). The explanation and analysis of this first example is laudable. However, the subsequent analysis of the regulation on attack ads is somewhat brief.
The best part of the article is the sixth section, which examines in depth the negative campaign spots of 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008, with real images of the posters and television ads. The explanation and analysis are exhaustive and understandable for any reader interested in politics, even if he knows little of Spain. For this reason, I think that this is the most interesting, original and praiseworthy part of the article.
Finally, the conclusions summarise the article, the idea of the attack spot, and the dangers of using this type of campaign. To close the article and propose new lines of research, the article could have made allusion to the phenomenon of the social networks, since many candidates criticize the actions and statements of their opponents in their social profiles. The future of the negative advertising is also on the Internet and an article like this which is very analytical of the past could have made predictions for the near future.