CNN: “A San Francisco man is going to extreme lengths to call out Facebook’s controversial policy of allowing politicians to run false ads on its platform. On Monday morning, he registered as a candidate in California’s 2022 gubernatorial election — not with the primary goal of becoming governor, but so he can run false Facebook ads of his own.”
Tom Steyer has now spent nearly $30 million in TV and radio advertisements for his presidential bid, NBC News reports.
“Steyer’s spending over the airwaves is seven times greater than the second-biggest advertiser in the presidential race (President Trump’s re-election campaign) and 15 times greater than his nearest Democratic rival (Pete Buttigieg).”
New York Times: “The letter was aimed at Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, and his top lieutenants. It decried the social network’s recent decision to let politicians post any claims they wanted — even false ones — in ads on the site. It asked Facebook’s leaders to rethink the stance.”
“The message was written by Facebook’s own employees. For the past two weeks, the text has been publicly visible on Facebook Workplace, a software program that the Silicon Valley company uses to communicate internally. More than 250 employees have signed the letter.”
New York Times: “On any given day, the Trump campaign is plastering ads all over Facebook, YouTube and the millions of sites served by Google, hitting the kind of incendiary themes — immigrant invaders, the corrupt media — that play best on platforms where algorithms favor outrage and political campaigns are free to disregard facts.”
“Even seemingly ominous developments for Mr. Trump become fodder for his campaign. When news broke last month that congressional Democrats were opening an impeachment inquiry, the campaign responded with an advertising blitz aimed at firing up the president’s base.”
“A fresh series of Facebook ads this week by Elizabeth Warren seeks to put the social media giant on the defensive — by telling a lie,” CNN reports.
“The ads, which began running widely on Thursday, start with a bold but obvious falsehood: That Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have endorsed President Trump’s reelection campaign.”
“The ad’s own admission of a lie seeks to draw attention to a controversial Facebook policy Warren has spent days criticizing. Under the policy, Facebook exempts ads by politicians from third-party fact-checking — a loophole, Warren says, that allows Zuckerberg to continue taking ‘gobs of money’ from Trump’s campaign despite Trump’s ads telling untruths Joe Biden and his son.”
“Facebook denied a request from Joe Biden’s campaign to take down a video ad by President Trump’s reelection campaign that falsely accuses the former vice president of corruption for his role in Ukraine policy during the Obama administration,” CNN reports.
“President Trump is using his powerful social media presence to push back against the impeachment inquiry, tweeting and retweeting more than 100 times over the weekend and his reelection campaign has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Facebook ads on the topic over the past week,” CNN reports.
“Joe Biden presidential campaign has sharply scaled back his online advertising, cutting spending so severely since August that he is now investing only a fraction of what his top rivals are on Facebook and Google, the two dominant internet platforms,” the New York Times reports.
“In a race where many voters are following politics on their smartphones, Mr. Biden’s pullback is an unusual and potentially worrisome sign about his appeal among the Democratic activists, young people and donors who are especially engaged on social media. Candidates rarely withdraw so much money from their online campaigns unless they are seeing weak results in online fund-raising, according to interviews with digital strategists.”
Said Steyer in the ad: “Unlike other candidates, I can go head to head with Donald Trump on the economy and expose him for what he is — a fraud and a failure.”
Some Democratic presidential candidates “are in danger of being ‘bled dry’ by spending well more than $1″ on social media advertising in an attempt “to get a $1 contribution and meet the debate criteria,” Bloomberg reports.
Politico: “The campaign has gone without an outside polling firm, and says it has no plans to hire one, even though it is standard operating procedure for most serious candidates. Instead of initially stockpiling resources for a home-stretch TV ad blitz, she’s amassed a payroll of 300-plus staffers in the early months of the campaign — overhead that could overwhelm her coffers if her fundraising ever falters.”
“And now, the campaign… is shunning the typical model for producing campaign ads, in which outside firms are hired and paid often hefty commissions for their work. Instead, Warren’s campaign is producing TV, digital and other media content itself, as well as placing its digital ad buys internally.”
“Taken together, Warren’s approach is a rebuke of the consultant-heavy model of campaigns — an often lucrative arrangement in which the people advising campaigns invariably tell candidates that the best political strategy is to buy what they sell, namely TV ads and polling.”
CBS News: “A series of Facebook video ads for President Donald Trump’s re-election efforts shows what appears to be a young woman strolling on a beach in Florida, a Hispanic man on a city street in Texas and a bearded hipster in a coffee shop in Washington, D.C., all making glowing, voice-over endorsements of the president.”
“There’s just one problem: The people in the videos that ran in the past few months are all actually models in stock video footage produced far from the U.S. in France, Brazil and Turkey, and available to anyone online for a fee.”
Politico: “Advertising Analytics, a political ad-tracking firm, expects the total cost of TV and digital ads for the next election to hit over $6 billion — a 57 percent increase over the total in last year’s hotly contested and expensive midterm elections, driven by a huge jump in digital video advertising.”
“Over one-quarter of the $6 billion total, $1.6 billion, will be spent on digital video platforms, primarily Facebook and Google, while broadcast and cable TV stations will take in a whopping $4.4 billion — more than twice as much as Democrats and Republicans spent on TV in the last presidential elections.”
President Trump’s campaign bought nearly $1 million in Facebook ads urging users to sign a birthday card to commemorate his 73rd birthday, Vice News reports.
“The users who click through to sign such ‘cards’ have offered gobs of contact information to help the president’s re-election effort build out voter lists that will be crucial to raising money. Imposing an arbitrary deadline for supporters to act, the birthday ads have been essential to a digitally savvy Trump campaign that strategists say has built out a sizable early lead over Democrats in collecting voter data.”
Quartz: “Google has been treating Beto’s campaign ads as if they weren’t political content, raising questions over whether Google is capable of keeping its already anemic promise of transparency for political ads. Google has promised to put ads it receives from candidates for U.S. federal political offices in its political ad archive, for transparency’s sake.”
“But the Beto ads reviewed by Quartz were missing from the archive—until we alerted Google to their existence. Google’s own rules don’t allow any political content in Gmail ads, but Beto’s campaign ads kept showing up there.”
“Political ad spending will increase to $9.9 billion in 2020,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“That would be up from $8.7 billion in 2018, the year of the most recent midterm Congressional elections, and $6.3 billion in 2016.”
“Facebook said it stopped paying commissions to employees who sell political ads, as the tech giant overhauls how it engages with campaigns ahead of elections in 2020,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Once seen as a growth area, political ads are now viewed within Facebook as more of a headache.”