Meta: UK government and political organizations spent £15m on advertising

The Scottish government alone has spent nearly £2.5m on adverts with the tech company

More than £15million has been spent by political organizations – including the UK and Scottish governments – on Meta advertising since November 2018, a new study has found.

According to a study by Sort list.

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The Scottish government alone has spent nearly £2.5million on adverts with the tech giant, meaning it is the second-largest ‘company that spends most on Meta advertising in the UK’. United”.

The UK and Scottish governments have both defended the amount they have spent on social media platforms, telling NationalWorld that advertising was used to communicate important issues to the public – particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

The UK government and political organizations are the second biggest spenders on Meta advertising

Sort list(a group of independent marketing and advertising experts), used the Meta Ad Library report to find total spend by specific Facebook Pages between November 29, 2018 and April 24, 2022.

What were the discoveries?

The main advertising industry on Meta in the UK is charities, with a collective spend of £19,563,149 since November 2018.

Despite being the biggest spender in Meta advertising, charities only displayed 43,931 ads, which is less than half of what the UK government and political entities produced. (115,027 advertisements).

Spending £15,742,209 on advertising puts government and political organizations second.

The political “corporations” among the 25 biggest spenders include the Scottish Government, the British Government, the Labor Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Conservative Party and the Brexit Party.

What are the key figures?

  • Scotland’s devolved government spent £2,492,162 on 2,412 adverts
  • The UK government spent £1,543,751 on 294 adverts
  • The Labor Party spent £1,493,230 on 40,203 adverts
  • The Liberal Democrats spent £1,318,230 on 20,158 adverts
  • The Conservative Party spent £1,081,805 on 21,565 adverts
Sortlist used the Meta Ads library to find total spend by specific Facebook Pages between November 29, 2018 and April 24, 2022

Organizations tackling “global issues” – such as climate change – come third, with the vast majority of spending coming from The Climate Pledge and Friends of the Earth.

What have the governments said?

A Scottish government spokesperson told NationalWorld: “Effective communication is an essential component of government work, needed to explain policy and provide information to the public about government and its services.

The spokesperson explained that during the coronavirus pandemic, advertising has been used to “communicate vital public health messages”, “promote vaccination” and “ensure that people receive health care in the right way”. frame”.

They continued, “We use the services of an external media buying agency to source, plan and buy advertising space across all media platforms.

“Marketing spend, including advertising via Meta, is higher than in previous years due to the need for significant investment to provide vital COVID-19 public health information which has supported Scots, businesses and communities. organizations during the pandemic.

“We are committed to openness and transparency and publish details of our marketing spend annually on gov.scot.”

The research was conducted by Sortlist, a group of independent marketing and advertising experts

A UK government spokesperson told NationalWorld: ‘We are working hard to effectively communicate to the public a large number of important and complex issues, including communications around unprecedented events such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the transition to the EU.

“We select the most effective channels to reach our audience and keep all our communications under continuous review to ensure value for money.”

The Cabinet Office added that it systematically tracks and reviews campaign spending “to ensure effectiveness and implementation of the appropriate communications strategy”.

They said, “We don’t spend more than necessary for the campaign to be effective.”

A Liberal Democrat spokesperson told NationalWorld, “We use digital advertising to effectively communicate with voters across the country. We run a range of ads across multiple platforms to promote our policies, recruit new members and support national campaigns as part of a wider communications strategy.

NationalWorld has also contacted the Labor Party for comment but had not received one at the time of publication.

How was the research conducted?

Sortlist wrote: “We wanted to uncover the largest companies and industries that advertise on Meta, so we used the Meta Ad Library report to find total spend by specific Facebook Pages between November 29, 2018 and April 24, 2022.”

The organization studied the top 50 advertisers in the UK and the US.

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