Buddhist writer Scoop Nisker used to close out his news reports on a San Francisco radio station by saying, "If you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own."
Now, if you don't like political advertising, you can go out and make some of your own.
Using Google AdWords, anyone can develop their own Internet ads for any campaign, based on the keywords users select, and how much the person is willing to spend -- as little as $10 a day or so.
"[T]he ads will be viewed by exponentially more people and, because of the keywords I chose, only by people looking for information on the campaign," said Chris Bowers, who described the technique. "Further, as I learn what messages work and which ones don't, if I want to fit daily talking points or the latest scandal, I can easily change the ad. Also, I can change the locations where I am targeting on a moment's notice."
The other advantage of the system -- which, admittedly, only targets Internet users -- is that it can be used on local campaigns and issues that might not otherwise garner advertising.
"To get started, just go to http://www.google.com, and log into Google," Bowers described. "Then, click Advertising programs, which is clearly visible on Google's homepage. From that point, click "sign up now" for Google Adwords on the bottom left of the screen. From that point, Google has an easy-to-use, step-by-step guide that will take you through the rest of the process."
Other people are discussing expanding the process to pool resources, though there is some concern that it could run afoul of campaign financing laws -- which don't yet cover this method.
Campaigns themselves are also using this system; for example, Republican presidential candidate John McCain was recently cited by the Wall Street Journal for his success in using Internet ad targeting.
"If you can figure out how to post on blogs, you can figure out how to run a Google ad," Bowers said.