Facebook Charged Biden 6 Times Higher For Political Ads Than Trump

Dhir Acharya - Nov 03, 2020

Facebook Charged Biden 6 Times Higher For Political Ads Than Trump

In August, Facebook charged Trump about $14 per 1,000 views for his ads while charging Biden $91 per 1,000 views for his ads.

Back in August, President Donal Trump wanted to reach out to older voters in Arizona with a message that says “The RADICAL Left has taken over Joe Biden and the Democratic Party,” featuring pictures of Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. For that, Facebook charged about $14 for every 1,000 times the ad showed up in users’ feeds.

But a few days later when Biden wanted to target the same audience with his own message saying he planned to cut drug prices and expand Medicare, the social giant charged him about $91 for every 1,000 times the ad appeared on users’ feeds, which was over 6 times the amount it charged Trump.

Trump and Biden
Trump and Biden have paid different amounts on Facebook political ads

The difference, however, wasn’t strange. The Markup analyzed every ad that Biden and Trump reportedly purchased from July 1 to October 13, from which it found that Facebook has charged very different prices for the presidential nominees’ ads. On average, Biden has had to pay almost $2.5 more for 1,000 impressions compared with Trump.

The difference was the most obvious between July and August when the ads were mostly aimed at Facebook users. Specifically, Biden pad about $34.34 for every 1,000 views while Trump had to pay only $16.55 for the same view counts. Also in this period, Biden paid $28.55 on average to run ads nationally as well as in other states while Trump paid only $20.35.

Why does Facebook charge them differently?
Why does Facebook charge them differently?

In September, though, the price advantage disappeared for Trump when the two nominees paid quite the same amounts. Then, in October, Facebook charged Biden a bit less than Trump.

But in total, since July, Biden has paid an average price of $8 million higher for his ads on Facebook than Trump’s average price.

This difference in political advertising pricing would be illegal in other media as TV stations are required by Federal laws to charge candidates the same amount, which is the lowest price charged on any advertiser. Some states also prohibit newspaper publishers from charging one candidate more than the other.

In light of this matter, Facebook defended its ad pricing, saying that:

“This article reflects a misunderstanding of how digital advertising works. All ads, from all advertisers, compete fairly in the same auction. Ad pricing will vary based on the parameters set by the advertiser, such as their targeting and bid strategy.”

>>> Looking For An Alternative To Facebook? Here Are The Best Options On The Market



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