Home Platforms Facebook Takes Unusual Step Of Releasing CPMs Paid By Clinton And Trump

Facebook Takes Unusual Step Of Releasing CPMs Paid By Clinton And Trump

SHARE:

Did Facebook’s algorithm force the Clinton campaign to pay more for ads than the Trump outfit during the 2016 US presidential election?

That’s fake news, said Facebook, which provided a rare public statement on the dynamics of its ads auction on Tuesday after claims of discriminatory pricing.

Senior Facebook exec Andrew Bosworth disclosed on Twitter that the Trump campaign paid consistently more for ads on Facebook than the Clinton campaign from late June through early November 2016. He tweeted the chart below on Tuesday afternoon.

It’s unusual for a tech platform to provide this level of transparency about its ad pricing. However, Facebook’s hand was apparently forced following boasts by Trump’s digital campaign director, Brad Parscale, on Twitter Saturday that then-candidate Trump paid “CPMs that were pennies in some cases,” and that Clinton likely shelled out 100 to 200 times more for the same ad space.

The speed with which Facebook responded indicates the priority senior management now places on addressing claims about its role in the presidential election.

So who’s right?

Parscale didn’t say how he knows Clinton paid 100 to 200 times more for ads than Trump. Perhaps CPMs were actually “pennies” on certain days in particular rural areas. Advertising costs go down in cheaper geos.

This mini tempest also highlights that Facebook’s auction doesn’t exclusively reward the highest bidder, but also factors in whether an ad is likely to generate engagement. The type of incendiary and polarizing messaging associated with the Trump campaign, in theory, generates what former Facebook staffer Antonio Garcia Martinez calls “a feedback loop” that optimizes outrage.

But Bosworth took umbrage with the notion that clickbait costs less to promote on Facebook, asserting on Twitter that the Facebook auction favors “good creative,” but only with a 10% boost in either direction.

Ad prices on Facebook also depend on factors like the size of the audience and the campaign objectives, which likely fluctuated by candidate over the course of the election.

As Boz tweeted late Monday, “Remember, price for any given impression is determined by an auction so by definition this pricing cannot be discriminatory.”

Must Read

It’s Open Season On SaaS As Brands Confront Their Own Subscription Fatigue

For CFOs and CEOs, we’ve entered a kind of open hunting season on martech SaaS.

Brian Lesser Is The New Global CEO Of GroupM

If you were wondering whether Brian Lesser was planning to take some time off after handing the CEO reins of InfoSum to Lauren Wetzel last week – here’s your answer.

Comic: S.P. O'Middleman's

TripleLift CEO Dave Clark Abruptly Exits After Setting The SSP On A New Trajectory

Dave Clark, who’s led TripleLift for the past two years, is stepping down, effective immediately, and is being replaced by a coterie of TripleLifters.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters
shopping cart

Moloco Invests In Its Competitor Topsort As The Retail Media Stakes Go Up

Topsort can lean into Moloco’s algorithmic personalization, while Moloco benefits from Topsort’s footprint with local retailers in the US and in Latin America.

CDP BlueConic Acquires First-Party Data Collection Startup Jebbit

On Wednesday, customer data platform BlueConic bought Jebbit, which creates quizzes, surveys and other interactive online plugs for collecting data from customers.

Comic: The Showdown (Google vs. DOJ)

The DOJ’s Witness List For The Google Antitrust Trial Is A Who’s Who Of Advertising

The DOJ published the witness list for its upcoming antitrust trial against Google, and it reads like the online advertising industry’s answer to the Social Register.