In order to provide a framework, the 2004 US presidential election will be introduced initially by identifying the contextual background that characterizes the “market conditions” in which the relevant marketing exchanges are played out. All products and offerings operate in a marketplace and each market is different with its own private ecology and exchange structures. There are facts of market context, some of recent historical evolution, some traditional. They can be codified in legislation (party and campaign funding rules), based on social contracts of mutual agreements between actors, or are engrained in the attitudes and interpretations of relevant parties (the “brand” perception of what certain parties or candidates represent).1 The analogy is with sociocultural and legal trading conditions in a commercial context, the non-negotiable givens of a situation. However, elections take place in a dense public context, historical memory combined with new developments; in the 2004 US presidential election it can be shown that changes in media and society determined the character of the campaign. We will specifically focus on the following: speed of riposte, decline of hard news, climate of antipathy, and the new media reality.