Feb 27, 2018

Facebook: Trump paid higher ad rates than Clinton during campaign

Facebook is pushing back on a claim that was quoted by Hillary Clinton on Twitter that her presidential campaign was systematically charged more than twice that of the Trump's presidential campaign for advertising rates on Facebook. The company supplied data Tuesday showing that during the general election period, the Trump campaign paid slightly higher rates on most days rather than lower as has been reported.

Why it matters: Advertising prices for programmatic advertising (advertising that is sold through a pricing auction automatically) depend on a campaign's objectives, like targeting, audience size and type of ad used. The Trump campaign and the Clinton campaign clearly used different advertising tactics on Facebook's platform, resulting in different average rates.

Our thought bubble: Facebook makes money from advocacy and political advertising on both sides of the aisle. It is not in the company's best interest to discriminate against certain advertisers, regardless of their point of view.

The conversation around ad rates began when Trump's digital strategist, Brad Parscale — who has been tapped to be Trump's 2020 campaign manager — claimed on Twitter that he bet the Clinton campaign paid significantly less for their ads, given how cheap the Trump campaign's ads were on Facebook.

  • The Trump campaign used Facebook mostly to drive direct-response fundraising efforts, while the Clinton campaign used Facebook mostly to drive persuasion messaging.

Fact check: There isn't a pricing weight difference in direct response advertising versus persuasion advertising, or other types of cause and appeal advertising on Facebook.

Bottom line: These opposing tactics are what likely caused the rate discrepancy, not any bias towards candidates' campaigns by Facebook.

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GM to exit Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

GM's Holden brand is popular among racing fans down under, and it's been a regular fixture at events like the Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar Race in Australia. Photo: Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

General Motors is retiring its celebrated Holden brand from sales in Australia and New Zealand after 160 years and winding down operations by 2021, the company confirmed in a statement Monday.

The big picture: GM also intends to "sell its Rayong factory in Thailand to China's Great Wall Motors and withdraw the Chevrolet brand from Thailand by the end of this year," AP reports. "The downsizing is part of a long-running strategy at GM since the Detroit-based company emerged from bankruptcy in 2009," per Bloomberg.

In photos: Deadly Storm Dennis lashes U.K., Ireland and western France

A family is rescued from a property in Nantgarw, Wales, on Sunday. The storm comes a week after the U.K. was battered by storm Ciara, which killed two people, per the BBC. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Storm Dennis continued to pummel parts of England, Wales and Ireland over Sunday night with heavy rain after battering Northern Ireland and Scotland, per the official British weather agency the Met Office.

Why it matters: It's the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean, with its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains that caused widespread flooding across the U.K., the Washington Post notes. Police in Wales confirmed Sunday they found the body of a man who fell into a river as the storm lashed Ystradgynlais.

Sanders accuses Bloomberg of trying to "buy" the 2020 election

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg. Photos: Drew Angerer; Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders tore into 2020 rival Michael Bloomberg at a Las Vegas campaign event Saturday, saying the billionaire and former New York mayor is trying to "buy the presidency" by paying millions of dollars in advertising.

Why it matters: Bloomberg has surged in national polling recently, having poured millions of dollars into campaign ads largely targeting Trump. His candidacy has become an obvious foil for Sanders, whose grassroots campaign railing against billionaires and the establishment has vaulted him to front-runner status.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy