Facebook has advertising lead ahead of elections

Date Published: April 8, 2019 Last Updated: April 8, 2019

Facebook has left Google behind by running maximum number of political advertisements ahead of the 2019 general elections. Facebook ran over 51,000 political advertisements over the course of two months, starting February 2019. This has left Google far behind which ran 830 political ads between February 19 and April 5. According to an ad transparency report released by Google on April 4, Google spent around ₹3.76 crore during those 45 days in India for political advertisements. Facebook is also

  • Facebook, which has released its own ad-archive recently, beats Google and Twitter on releasing largest number political advertisements ahead of the general elections.
  • Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook has said that the platform cannot set the rules for political advertising, but it has put in place gatekeeping measures. For instance, since December, Facebook has made it mandatory for Indian political advertisers to verify their identity and location with the portal. Then, last month, it began labeling ads with who published them or paid for them and details about pages running them.
  • The BJP has not disclosed full information about certain campaigns run by secretive organisations.
  • Twitter, Google, Facebook, and YouTube have promised to ensure that all political ads on their platforms are pre-approved by the poll body’s media certification and monitoring panel, while political candidates will also be required to disclose their social media handles to the commission, as claimed by the Election Commission of India in March.
  • BJP has spent ₹1.2 cr and ₹1.5 cr on advertisements on platforms like Facebook and Google, respectively. Karthik Srinivasan, a communications consultant and former national lead, social, at Ogilvy, said, “When it comes to transparency on political spending, we can look at who has published the advertisement, but do we know who is bankrolling these advertisers? Unless that is clear, it sounds only good on paper."
  • Beyond the internet, BJP also has been responsible for over half of the ad insertions across print, radio, and television. The Congress’ share is at around 14 per cent.