Indian voters are yet not aware of the spending pattern of marketing by political parties during the election. It is very unlikely that parties release the data to make normal people aware. Like Facebook did a couple of months ago, In November, Google released a political ads transparency report for 2019.
What Transparency Report is all about?
Google launched the first Transparency Report back in 2010. Since then Google is publicly sharing data that shows how the policies and actions of governments and corporations affect privacy, security, and access to information online.
In April 2010, Google launched a Government Requests tool to inform people about government requests for user data or content removal. In September 2010, Google added data about product traffic disruptions and combined the tools to create the first Transparency Report.
Political advertising for India
Google wants to provide greater transparency in political advertising on Google, YouTube, and partner properties. The released report highlights the information about ads that feature or are run by a political party, a political candidate, or a current member of the Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha. The data shown are for the Ads since Feb 19, 2019. Other than India, the report is available for Europian Union and the USA.
Key Takeaways from the report
Since 19th February 2019, a total of 12,276 numbers of ads have been run on Google. The total ad spend for all these ads is ₹29,39,16,500. If you feel that’s a whopping number then actually it’s not! If you compare this amount with other on-ground campaigns and activities plus television commercials, free goodies, hoardings, and newspaper ads then the amount is too small!
Out of all the verified advertisers since 19th February 2019, Bhartiya Janta Party spent ₹121,913,000 whereas the Indian National Congress party spent ₹30,013,000. BJP ran ad campaigns from the central account and BHP Maharashtra account. Shiv Sena was also found running ads from two different accounts.
There are multiple other individual ad accounts that ran ad campaigns for different parties.
The other surprising names are coming out are local parties DMK and YSR Congress party. DMK spent ₹40,062,000 and later spent ₹22,561,250.
Talking about the agencies, Auburn Digital Solutions Private Limited ran ad campaigns for Arvin Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP). This agency ran 124 ads with a spending amount of ₹12,085,750.
It is found that TDP also worked with Pramanya Strategy Consulting Pvt. Ltd. for the Google ad campaign. This agency ran 114 ads and spent ₹18,812,750.
Digitant Consulting Pvt Ltd also ran 77 Ad campaigns for the TDP party with the ad spent of ₹14,915,750. Brandsum Tech Solutions Pvt. Ltd. ran 315 ads for Mamata Banerjee‘s Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) and spent ₹10,058,500. Social Kinnect Pvt. Ltd. ran 105 ads for Shiv Sena and spent ₹6,233,000.
If we see region-wise, Andhra Pradesh has the maximum amount spent on Google ads with ₹50,744,750 whereas the amount spent in Lakshwadweep is ₹392,750. Amount spent in Gujarat is ₹7,205,500. In Maharashtra ad spend is ₹28,445,250 and in Delhi, the amount is ₹21,985,000.
The report is not including the YouTube Masthead spending amount. Congress party has run Masthead ad during the 2019 general election before a certain round of voting.