BJP spends too much on political advertising on Facebook as Congress spends too little — yet again

BJP spends too much on political advertising on Facebook as Congress spends too little — yet again
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg during his visit to Facebook HeadquartersIANS

  • Over ₹40 million were spent on political ads on Facebook in India over the last month.
  • More than half that amount was spending by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), one of the primary contenders in the upcoming general elections in India.
  • Their main opposition, the Indian National Congress, only spent around ₹300,000 on political advertising on Facebook.
The general elections are coming up and political parties in India are leaving no stone unturned. Facebook’s Ad Archive report shows that over ₹40 million were spent on political advertising in India.

And, over ₹20 million came from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the country’s country's largest political party in terms of representation and a primary contender in the upcoming elections.

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Congress on the other hand, only accounted for ₹300,000 on political ads on Facebook, regional parties and backers included.


This isn’t the first time that BJP has shot head of Facebook in terms of political advertising.

Before the 5-state assembly elections in December 2018, BJP was already the number one advertiser on television according to the Broadcast Audience Research Council — putting them ahead of Netflix, Trivago and even consumer goods companies like Hindustan Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser.

Indirect routes

Even though the advertiser was not the BJP directly, just over ₹10 million were spent on ‘Bharat ke Mann ki Baat’ — a pro-BJP page — that too, without a political ad disclaimer.

Another BJP supporting page, Nation with NaMo, spent ₹5 million to advertising — ads, that again, ran without disclaimers.

Even the page responsible for the most amount of political ads in India — 2,153 ads — is a pro-BJP page called NaMo supporters. Their ad spent, meanwhile was limited to, ₹197,031.

Facebook is working on rectifying the ‘no disclaimer’ issue by taking down political ads that are place without the necessarily information — including government campaigns like Digital India.

"When an advertiser categorises their ad as being related to politics or an issue of national importance, they are required to disclose who paid for the ad. If an ad ran without a disclaimer, this field will state 'these ads ran without a disclaimer'”

Facebook told IANS

(with inputs from IANS)

See also:
Facebook's '10 Year Challenge' takes a political dimension in India