The evaluation of the current vote last weekend shows that the Yes camp of the AHV initiative entered the election campaign earliest. The first advertising campaigns were launched as early as May 2022. However, the advertising activities for the livestock initiative, at 3.9 million Swiss francs, clearly show the greatest gross advertising pressure of the three initiatives. This is followed by the change in the withholding tax with 2.1 million francs and the AHV 21 reform with 2.0 million francs.
There are also striking differences between the three initiatives in the ratio of gross advertising pressure of the Yes and No camps. For example, the ratio of gross advertising pressure for the No camp of the livestock initiative was 58 percent. In comparison, the gross advertising pressure of the Yes camp was 42 percent. In the case of the AHV21 reform initiative, the ratio was just the opposite. Here, the No camp was at 41 percent and the Yes camp at 59 percent. A considerable difference between the "Yes" and "No" camps arose in the case of the initiative to change the withholding tax. Here, the ratio was 7 percent to 93 percent.
It should be emphasized that the gross advertising pressure of the livestock initiative was significantly above the 5-year benchmark (2.3 million Swiss francs) and above the all-time benchmark (2.1 million Swiss francs).
400 million advertising francs for ballot initiatives in the last 22 years
If we look at the gross advertising volume of the total of 180 federal voting initiatives from the last 22 years, these initiatives together were advertised with around CHF 400 million. Across all initiatives, the ratio of the gross advertising volume of the "yes" and "no" camps was balanced (50 percent/50 percent). In 2009, the largest gross advertising volume was around CHF 12.5 million for the initiative on the free movement of persons. The highest gross advertising volume of a "yes" camp was generated by the proposal on the bilateral agreement in 2005 with CHF 7.2 million.