Aug 15, 2018 - Economy & Business

Trump group, Senate candidates among biggest spenders on Google

Donald Trump speaks from a podium, in front of a crowd and large American flag

Trump's Make America Great Again Committee dominated Google ad spending. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The top political spenders on Google's ad platforms since the end of May include President Trump's political committee as well as individual candidates in competitive races, according to data the company released for the first time on Wednesday.

The big picture: New ad transparency initiatives on the part of major web platforms allow the public to see, to varying degrees, how online advertisers are trying to influence their votes.

Top spenders on Google's platforms since the last day of May, which includes the Search tool and YouTube, came from both sides of the aisle, including:

  • Trump's Make America Great Again Committee, which has spent $629,500 on ads.
  • The political group One Nation, which spent $440,300 on ads — at least some of which had conservative messages on immigration.
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which spent $341,600.

Individual candidates have poured money into the platforms as well.

  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) has spent $324,300 since May 31 on ads for his Senate campaign.
  • Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D), who is challenging Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in Texas, has spent $266,000.

Top keywords — or the terms advertisers can use to reach an audience — included "ACLU," "Diane Black" (the Republican member of Congress who ran for governor in Tennessee), and "Ron DeSantis," the lawmaker running for the Republican nomination to replace Scott as Florida's governor.

Google’s tallies include ads featuring candidates for federal office or incumbents, but not issue ads that talk about a contentious debate.

Go deeper: Google releases political ad directory

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