Politics & Campaigns


How much is spent on political advertising and how big a part of the mix is digital? In the latest episode of “Behind the Numbers,” we break down the numbers and dig into questions about Facebook, the role of messaging and whether brands are being dragged into the political arena.

Political ad spend estimates have been revised higher amid an increasingly contentious election season. TV broadcasters will win many of these added dollars, moderating a longer-term downward revenue trend.

Stronger regulation of social media has become a focus of UK Prime Minister Theresa May following recent terror attacks in London and Manchester. A wide-ranging list of digital infrastructure improvements is also on the agenda, but last week’s parliamentary losses have put those plans in jeopardy.

Nearly eight in 10 internet users believe social media has at least some effect on public policy outcomes like immigration and trade.

Most adults in Germany rely on public TV or newspapers as their primary source of political news, according to a recent study, leaving them largely impervious to so-called fake news. But the internet's popularity as a news source is growing, especially among the country's millennials.

Registered voters leverage a variety of devices when researching a politician or political issue. And according to July 2016 research, nearly two-thirds of US mobile users said it’s at least somewhat important to keep up with political news on multiple devices.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign has spent $0 on television advertising, while the campaign of his opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, has spent roughly $52 million. Some advocacy groups have made Trump-supporting buys, but they are even being outspent by the Green Party’s Jill Stein, as well as the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson. Research shows that TV is still the dominant destination for political ad spend, but perhaps Trump is simply relying on the constant influx of free media he is getting.

Most registered voters leverage desktop or laptop PCs when researching a politician or political issue, May 2016 research found. However, millennials are more likely than their older counterparts to use their tablets, connected TVs—and especially their smartphones—to conduct political research.

Much referral traffic to news articles about US presidential candidates is internal, according to data on worldwide visits between November 2015 and May 2016. Indeed, 40% of total referral traffic was from users who arrived at a post by clicking a link from somewhere else on the publisher’s site.

While TV is still the dominant destination for political ad spend, spending on digital channels is increasing the fastest year over year. In fact, US political ad spending on digital is estimated to nearly quadruple compared to 2014, according to research.

Companies have long strived to stay out of the political and social fray. But new research from Sprout Social might change the calculus on their apolitical approach.

Latin America is home to Twitter’s second most active user base, and some of the world’s most socially active political leaders.

According to a new survey, 40% of internet users in France ages 21 to 35 say the internet is their primary channel for news content, and another 15% cite social channels.

TV is the most common media used by voters in France to stay abreast of developments in the country’s presidential campaign. While about one-third of respondents to a recent survey said they used digital news sites to follow the race, seven in 10 said TV was their leading news source.

The country’s virtual reality industry takes a hit as government reduces backing amidst unfolding impeachment drama.

More than 60% of US cable TV political ad spending is coming from political action committees (PACs) and issues advertisers, according to data from Viamedia on ads served on its platform between January and August 2016.

In June, the UK voted to leave the EU, a decision that—if it holds—will have massive ramifications on both Continental and UK economies. Marketers may be optimistic, especially digital marketers, having proved the resilience of the industry through the recent recession. But for retailers accustomed to revenue from the common market, the picture may be less rosy.

More US registered voters said they saw marketing messages in support of likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the past week than they did for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump—across media.

US internet users say they learn more about politics from TV than anywhere else, and that TV ads are most likely to influence their voting behavior. But digital video is a growing source of political info</a> as well, and research suggests desktop-based video ads are the leading digital format for political campaigns from the local to the national level.

While more than half of US likely voters who use digital video to learn about political candidates are millennials, some older generations are also turning to the channel to better understand political candidates and issues, according to January 2016 research.