Trump Is Google's Biggest Federal Election Ad Buyer
Months before the midterm elections, Alphabet Inc.’s Google (GOOG) has fulfilled the promise it made to lawmakers. The tech giant has added to its Transparency Report information on advertisers spending to run political ads on Google Ads Services in the U.S.
The database only includes ads from the current U.S. federal election cycle, which began on May 31, 2018, that feature a federal candidate and not ads about political issues or state and local election ads. Along with a library of political ads that have appeared on Google and partner properties, the company is providing data on how much advertisers spent in each state or congressional district and a list of those who have spent above $500. (See also: How Google Makes Money)
The Trump Make American Great Again Committee, a joint-fundraising committee composed of the President’s 2020 reelection campaign committee and the Republican National Committee, has emerged as the top spender with a total of $629,500 spent on 1,321 ads.
In second place was One Nation, a conservative nonprofit public policy advocacy organization tied to Republican strategist Karl Rove that aims to influence Senate elections. Senator Mitch McConnell’s former chief of staff Stephen Law is its president. The organization spent $440,300 on 116 ads.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc., a nonprofit organization focused on advocacy and providing sexual and reproductive healthcare and education, spent $341,600 on 53 ads and took third place in the list.
Ads in the most expensive bracket ($50,000 – $100,000) were paid for by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Priorities USA Action & SMP and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Ads with over 10 million impressions were paid for by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NRCC and Salem Web Network, LLC.
Earlier this year, Google began verifying advertisers purchasing election ads in the U.S. by asking for government-issued IDs and other key information. Google and other tech companies like Facebook Inc. (FB) and Twitter Inc. (TWTR) are under heavy scrutiny for allowing Russian propaganda meant to influence U.S. voters during the 2016 presidential election to run on their sites. (See also: World’s Second-Largest Advertiser Threatens to Boycott Tech Giants)
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