Google, Facebook Preparing For Flood Of Political Ad Cash

Just in time for this year’s mid-term Congressional elections in November the US Supreme Court opened the financial floodgates by overturning campaign finance rules that prevented corporations from spending at will to oppose or support political candidates. Two of the biggest likely beneficiaries of these new more liberal (not in the political sense) spending rules will undoubtedly be Google and Facebook, although they stood to benefit regardless as more and more political ad dollars flow into search and online display.

According to The Hill both Google and Facebook are preparing for what they expect to be a big increase in online ad spending around issues and candidates in the run up to US November elections:

Google’s Ann Arbor, Mich., advertising sales office will handle most of the political campaigns, and it recently brought on Andrew Roos, a former campaign manager, to be an AdWords account executive of its election and issue advocacy advertising team.

“We’re ready for online political ads to go more mainstream this year,” said Peter Greenberger, Google’s chief evangelist for the political sales team.

Facebook recently created a two-person political ad team at its Palo Alto headquarters and plans to devote more staff as Election Day gets closer.

While, theoretically, you shouldn’t see any political ads on Google unless you search for issues and candidates, Facebook is another matter. With its demographic and location targeting Facebook is a natural for “awareness” advertising for both local politicians and issues. That could me scores of political display ads on the “right rail” in the coming several months. It will be interesting to observe how accurate and effective that targeting is.

Behavioral targeting, to my knowledge, has not been used to any extensive degree by politicians to date. This may be the election that changes too.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Facebook | Google: AdWords | Search Ads: General | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • Clifford Bryan

    I hope the ads are not as noisy as health care advertising. I thinks its better to have a clear message.

  • Andy Atkins-Krüger

    With a general election just announced this morning in the UK (the nearest thing we have to a Presidential in the UK) and reports showing considerable American influence in the way this election is run, there’s likely to be some millions going in this direction in the next three weeks from sunny UK too!

  • painperdu

    “Behavioral targeting, to my knowledge, has not been used to any extensive degree by politicians to date. This may be the election that changes too.”

    I support that statement fully.

    The political SEM whom masters Google’s ‘remarkting’ tools will win big in politics.

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