Political ad spend on Facebook, the world's largest social media platform, crossed the Rs 20-crore mark in the week leading to April 27, just ahead of the polling on April 29 in the fourth phase of the ongoing general election.
A similar trend was witnessed on Google, where political parties cumulatively spent Rs 22.39 crore as of May 2.
An analysis of the Facebook data shows that there was a 16.1 per cent rise over the previous week in the ad spend by political parties. As much as Rs 2.8 crore was spent on advertisements during the week ending April 27.
The social media giant provides weekly data on advertising on issues of a political nature and on issues of national importance. Data for India is available from February.
Four of the five highest spends since then are from the pages which support the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the election. These include pages named Bharatiya Janata Party, Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat and My First Vote For Modi. BJP pages, so far, have accounted for Rs 5.96 crore of the total ad spend; Congress pages have spent Rs 74 lakh.
The most popular keywords on Facebook during the week were ‘BJP’, ‘Congress’, ‘Modi’, ‘Narendra Modi’ and ‘Congress party Punjab’.
According to Google, which makes similar disclosures, the biggest spender here, too, has been the BJP. It accounted for more than half the total spend — Rs 11.6 crore.