Anti-Trump spice company is major buyer of impeachment Facebook ads: analysis

A Wisconsin-based spice company has been the second-largest buyer of impeachment ads on Facebook in recent days, second only to President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE himself, according to a new analysis released Tuesday.

Penzeys Spices in Wauwatosa, Wis., has spent $92,000 on pro-impeachment ads between Sept. 29 and Oct. 5, according to data compiled by Bully Pulpit Interactive, a Democratic communications agency, and published by Axios.

ADVERTISEMENT

By comparison, the Trump campaign shelled out $718,000 to defend the president after House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry last month over his dealings with Ukraine, while billionaire philanthropist and Democratic presidential candidate Tom SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr SteyerThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden camp faces new challenges 2020 Democrats recognize Pronouns Day Third-quarter fundraising sets Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg apart MORE was the third top spender, dishing out $86,000 on anti-Trump impeachment ads.

Penzeys Spices is America’s largest independent spice retailer and frequently criticizes the president across its official social media platforms.

The company's CEO, Bill Penzey, last week released a 1,500-word advertisement attacking Trump over the Ukraine whistleblower complaint while knocking the Republican Party’s defense of the president. 

Because somebody needs to say this: It’s the end of the Republican Party as we know it—And we should all feel fine...

Posted by Penzeys Spices on Thursday, October 3, 2019

“This week the curtain was finally pulled back on how deeply un-American the Republican Party has become," the ad stated. "This week made clear the Republican Party’s been hijacked by the one-two combo of unlimited political spending and foreign forces seeking to end the very concept of government of, by and for the people. From just the White House-released summary, the Ukraine scandal is a mandatory open and shut case for the impeachment, but it is also so much more.”

Penzey’s ad accuses the GOP of turning its back on conservative values and embracing “the ‘textbook’ racism of white nationalism.”

“Under Republican control, government grew larger than ever before, women’s and minority rights were cut back, debts skyrocketed as we stopped paying our bills, our military’s leadership was undermined as were our allies and NATO, plus as I can tell you personally as a company that brings you the best the world has to offer, tariffs have gone through the roof. Free trade? Good grief.”

The CEO explained that he publicly criticizes the president because his job entails him traveling "all those less-beaten paths of the world that the spice trade lives along."

"I’ve found in every new shared experience, in every interaction, there is the chance for change," he wrote.

The lengthy post ended with a request for conservatives to “get off the sidelines and get back in the game.”

“And if the opportunity arises, hug a whistleblower. They are keeping all that is good about America alive,” Penzey’s post concludes.

The CEO has frequently targeted Trump online, spending more than $2.1 million between May 2018 and August 2019, according to data from the Facebook Ad Library. 

In July 2017 — roughly two years after Trump launched his White House bid — Penzey announced that the company would give out free bottles of Mexican Vanilla Extract.

“Today, on this anniversary, it seems a good day to apologize to the people of Mexico and Latin America,” he wrote at the time. “That form of intentional racism designed to stoke fear and anger among voters should have raised huge red flags as to why this was not a candidate fit for the highest office in the land. For reasons we have yet to get to the bottom of, those red flags were never raised, and for that we are sorry.”

Today, 7-6-17 only, actually free $7.95 Mexican Vanilla Extract, and free shipping with $20 (not $30) spending. Great...

Posted by Penzeys Spices on Thursday, July 6, 2017

The company also sells a Russian-style seasoning blend called “Tsardust Memories” and released a recipe for a Tsardust Nothing Burger after the release of former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network MORE’s report on Russian election interference. 

“At Penzeys we believe the kindness at the heart of cooking sets better futures in motion. Our speaking out against this administration and speaking up for America’s traditions of kindness and compassion has cost us customers,” the company wrote in June.

SCHIFF: “Trump and his campaign welcomed and encouraged Russian interference?” MUELLER: “Yes.” SCHIFF: “And then Trump...

Posted by Penzeys Spices on Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Hill has reached out to the spice company for more informant about its latest ad campaign.