BJP Pages Spent Over ₹4Cr On FB Ads In November; AAP & Congress Far Behind
BJP-linked pages were the highest spenders on Facebook ads last month, with an overall expenditure of ₹4.04 crore across four pages.
The official Facebook page of Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Gujarat unit spent ₹2.65 crore in advertisements between November 4 - December 3, emerging as the biggest spender in India, just ahead of the Gujarat assembly elections.
BJP Delhi, which faced-off the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections, emerged as the second highest spender on Facebook, with an expenditure of ₹1.07 crore to promote posts on its official Facebook page during this time.
We looked at the top 15 highest spenders on Facebook ads, and found some interesting trends.
In our previous report on political spending on Facebook, BJP Gujarat was found to have an expenditure of only ₹14 lakh between October 7-November 8. With a spending of ₹2.65 crore in the past month, the page increased its spending by 1790 per cent between October and November.
The third highest spending page in the past month was the official Facebook page of the Government of Punjab, with a spending of ₹90.6 lakh. The same page emerged as the highest spender in our past report, spending ₹3.23 crore, thus marking a decrease of 72 per cent in the page's expenditure between October and November.
Who Spent The Most In Gujarat?
The high stakes assembly election in Gujarat saw fierce campaigning from both BJP and AAP, with the Congress trailing far behind. This trend was reflected in their expenditure on their respective pages on Facebook.
Out of the 15 pages, we found seven pages that were posting ads solely dedicated to the Gujarat elections - BJP Gujarat, Narendra Bhupendra, Ek Dhoko Kejriwalne, Chuntli Express, A Babuchak, Paltu Aadmi Party, Ek Moko Kejriwalne and Indian National Congress Gujarat.
We found BJP to be the highest spender in Gujarat, with an overall expenditure of ₹2.97 crore in two pages - BJP Gujarat (₹2.65 crore) and Narendra Bhupendra (₹32.13 lakh).
Four obscure smear pages, with no apparent affiliation to a party, was found to have an overall expenditure of ₹1.22 crore.
AAP-linked page Ek Moko Kejriwalne was the third highest spending page in the list, with an expenditure of ₹51 lakh.
INC Gujarat's official page was far behind AAP and BJP, with an expenditure of ₹25.7 lakh.
Smear Pages Target BJP Opponents
Out of the seven pages linked to Gujarat elections, four of them were obscure smear pages that targeted opponents of BJP - namely AAP and Congress.
Facebook page 'Ek dhoko Kejriwalne', which previously went by the name 'Paltu Express', was the second highest spending page in the list of Gujarat-linked pages, with an expenditure of ₹54.2 lakh. The page promoted posts that negatively targeted AAP and its supremo Arvind Kejriwal.
Yet another anti-AAP smear page in the list was Paltu Aadmi Party which spent ₹18.6 lakh in the past month.
There were two more smear pages that targeted both AAP and Congress - Chuntli Express with ₹27.3 lakh of expenditure, and a page named "A Babuchak", which spent an amount of ₹21.9 lakh.
BJP Pages Far Ahead Of Others
We also sorted the pages according to affiliations with political parties or non-political organisations.
BJP-linked pages were the highest spenders, with an overall expenditure of ₹4.04 crore across four pages - BJP Gujarat, BJP Delhi and Narendra Bhupendra.
AAP-linked pages came second, with an overall expenditure of ₹1.42 crore across two pages - Government of Punjab, and Ek Moko Kejriwalne.
The smear pages targetting BJP opponents came third, spending an overall amount of ₹1.22 crore.
Three non-political pages linked to the United Nations came fourth, spending ₹84 lakh overall in the past month.
Congress-linked pages were far behind BJP and AAP, spending an overall sum of ₹46.2 lakh across two pages - INC Gujarat and Rahul Gandhi's official Facebook pages.
The last in the list was the India-focused page run by British consumer healthcare comapany Haleon, spending ₹18 lakh in the past month.
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