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28 Feb, 2018 20:34

Facebook exec claims Trump paid more for 2016 election ads than Clinton

Facebook exec claims Trump paid more for 2016 election ads than Clinton

A Facebook executive has published details on how much US presidential election candidates paid to reach potential voters on the social media platform in 2016. Critics say Trump was rewarded for provocative and divisive content.

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Andrew Bosworth, the executive in charge of ads during the 2016 election, posted a chart to his Twitter feed Tuesday. “After some discussion we’ve decided to share the CPM comparison on Trump campaign ads vs. Clinton campaign ads,” Bosworth wrote.

CPM refers to the cost per thousand impressions and it is how price is typically measured for digital ad campaigns. “This chart shows that during [the] general election period, [the] Trump campaign paid slightly higher CPM prices on most days rather than lower as has been reported,” he added.

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Bosworth’s chart covers the period from June 21 to November 8, 2016. During that time, President Donald Trump’s CPM rate appears at times dramatically higher than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s. Earlier this month, a Wired report suggested that Trump got a better deal on Facebook ads because his page drove more interactions, which, in turn, drove down the cost. Critics of the social media giant feared that the platform’s algorithms rewarded Trump for his more provocative and divisive content. However, the chart published by Bosworth seems to show this was not the case.

Former Trump campaign advisor Brad Parscale appeared to confirm the findings of the Wired report, tweeting that then-candidate Trump had “CPMs that were pennies in some cases,” adding that Trump had been the “perfect candidate for Facebook.”

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That message was then picked up by TechCrunch contributor Kim-Mai Cutler, and her tweet was shared by Clinton, who cited the report as the reason why social media should be stringently regulated during election periods.

Responding to the Bosworth tweets, another Wired report claims the Facebook executive’s graphic failed to shed light on whether Trump’s sensationalist ads had any effect on CPMs, as it contained no information about the content of ads on the charted days. For his part, Bosworth claims that Facebook wants to reveal more information about campaign spending on the platform, but he needs the campaigns’ permission to do so.

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