Blog

Calculating Reported Spending on Facebook Advertising

Photo: WOCinTech Chat/Flickr (MIDDLETOWN, CT) September 1, 2020 – With Facebook online ads making up a large part of political advertising, the Wesleyan Media Project (WMP) strives to use the Facebook data in its reporting on campaign spending. To do this, WMP uses the Facebook spending reports that are posted on the Facebook Ad Library website. Between arriving as a download and appearing as a tidbit of information on a website, a report undergoes several transformations, depending on the final use of the information. Some of them involve cleaning up data, others involve classification into political entities. An entity is…
Wesleyan Media Project
September 1, 2020
2020 ElectionsReleases

Ad Volumes in Congressional Races Smash Records

Photo: John Brighenti/Flickr Senate Ads Up 170 Percent; House Ads Up 104 Percent   (MIDDLETOWN, CT) August 13, 2020 – The year 2020 is shaping up to be a banner year for television advertising with huge increases in volume and (to a lesser extent) spending in U.S. House and U.S. Senate races. Since January 1, 2019, over 275,000 ads have aired in markets across the country for U.S. House races, which represents a 104 percent increase over the comparable period in the 2015-2016 election cycle and a 73 percent increase over the 2011-2012 cycle (Table 1). Spending on House advertising…
Wesleyan Media Project
August 13, 2020
2020 ElectionsReleases

Trump Focuses on Crime While Biden Talks COVID, Business, Economy

Photo: Joe Biden Campaign Presidential Ad War Tightens as Biden Closes the Gap on TV; Trump Continues to Dominate Digital   (MIDDLETOWN, CT) August 12, 2020 – A new analysis from the Wesleyan Media Project, in partnership with the Center for Responsive Politics, shows a presidential race that is fairly balanced when it comes to the ad war on television in the period leading up to Biden announcing his pick for vice president. Since July 14, Joe Biden’s campaign, along with pro-Biden advertisers, has aired about 54,000 ads compared to 63,000 ads for Donald Trump and his group allies (Table…
Wesleyan Media Project
August 12, 2020
Blog

Why Is Digital Advertising So Hard to Track?

Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr(MIDDLETOWN, CT) August 7, 2020 – Since 2010, the Wesleyan Media Project (WMP) has tracked political advertising on television, but the project only started providing data on digital advertising in 2018—and those numbers carry with them several caveats.  Why is it so hard to track digital advertising?1. The major social media platforms libraries don’t cover all digital advertising. While Facebook (including Instagram) and Google (including YouTube) have provided data on ads since May 2018, most vendors that place advertising on third-party sites do not provide any public information on their political ad sales (Google Ad Networks is the…