Facebook says Trump paid more than Clinton for digital advertising

A top Facebook executive who was in charge of the platform’s advertising during the 2016 presidential race said Tuesday that President Trump’s campaign paid a higher rate for advertising on Facebook than Hillary Clinton’s team.

“After some discussion we’ve decided to share the CPM comparison on Trump campaign ads vs. Clinton campaign ads,” Andrew Bosworth wrote on Twitter, referencing the cost per 1,000 impressions, a metric used to determine the price of an online ad.

“This chart shows that during [the] general election period, Trump campaign paid slightly higher CPM prices on most days rather than lower as has been reported,” tweeted Bosworth, who is now in charge of Facebook’s consumer hardware.

Bosworth’s release of the information came after former Trump campaign digital director Brad Parscale tweeted last week that he believed his campaign received cheaper advertising rates on Facebook.

Parscale was named Tuesday as Trump’s campaign manager for his 2020 reelection campaign.


Wired had previously published a story suggesting that Trump paid Facebook less for ads than Clinton. The report suggested that because Trump’s advertising was more attention-grabbing in its nature, Facebook’s model priced them lower.

“Rather than simply reward that ad position to the highest bidder, though, Facebook uses a complex model that considers both the dollar value of each bid as well as how good a piece of clickbait (or view-bait, or comment-bait) the corresponding ad is,” reads Wired’s story by a former product manager for Facebook’s ad targeting team.

“If Facebook’s model thinks your ad is 10 times more likely to engage a user than another company’s ad, then your effective bid at auction is considered 10 times higher than a company willing to pay the same dollar amount.”

Bosworth didn’t push back against that logic Tuesday but said that in the case of the 2016 elections, Facebook’s models didn’t give Trump better advertising prices.

“Prices depend on factors like size of audience and campaign objective. These campaigns had different strategies. Given the recent discussion about pricing we’re putting this out to clear up any confusion,” Bosworth tweeted.

Tags Brad Parscale Donald Trump Donald Trump Facebook Hillary Clinton online advertising

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