On Facebook, BJP takes giant early lead in ad spend It’s early days yet, and the numbers are very small compared with what will ultimately be spent, but BJP is miles ahead of the rest in political ad spend on Facebook. This is as per a report by the Economic Times.
According to data made available by the social media company for the month of February, BJP and its affiliates made up for over 50% of the total spend. Congress and its affiliates came third, behind regional parties.
Affiliates in these calculations include individuals from a party, ministers, MPs, MLAs and organisational leaders, and outfits that clearly seek backing for a particular party as well as fan pages on Facebook that do the same.
BJP leaders involved in election-related publicity have been quoted in the report that social media will account for 20-25% of the party’s total ad spend by the time campaigning is over.
BJP and its affiliates spent Rs 2.37 crore in February on Facebook ads. Regional parties spent about Rs 19.8 lakh, while Congress and its affiliates spent around Rs 10.6 lakh.
Among regional parties, the big spenders were Biju Janata Dal, Nationalist Congress Party, Telugu Desam Party, YSR Congress Party and Shiv Sena.
“These social media advertising spends are just a curtain-raiser. The fact is that there is a marketing juggernaut in the DNA of BJP. They believe in brand building and social media,” said brand consultant Harish Bijoor.
Government departments such as MyGov and campaigns like Digital India have spent over Rs 35 lakh on Facebook, the data revealed.
The data was made public by the company as part of its Ad Archive Report. Only considered political ad spend above Rs 5,000 for the purpose of this report.
Facebook has begun instituting what it claims are stricter rules for political advertisements before the model code of conduct for the 2019 general election kicks in. All Facebook ads related to Indian politics now have to abide by the company’s authorisation process launched in December. Political advertisements have to display details of their publishers and funders.
The social media company’s political ad portal archives all Indian political ads along with audience demographics and funding details for seven years. Facebook, according to business intelligence portal Statista, had over 294 million monthly active users in India as of October 2018.
Facebook and its photo-sharing platform Instagram are expected to corner a significant chunk of BJP’s social media ad budget, party leaders said.
Among the prominent Facebook ads is an official BJP campaign through a page called ‘Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat’, for which the spend was Rs 1.1 crore in February. The advertiser disclaimer on the page carries the address of the party’s office on Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg in New Delhi. There’s also a Facebook page called ‘Nation With Namo’, which has spent over Rs 60 lakh in February.