BJP becomes the first party to Spend Rs 100 Crore On Google Ads

Shivani Arora

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has set a significant milestone in Indian politics by becoming the first party to spend over Rs 100 crore on political advertisements on Google and YouTube. The Reserve Bank of India’s crackdown on digital spending reflects a paradigm shift in political campaigning, raising questions about transparency and influence.

With an expenditure exceeding Rs 101 crore, the BJP’s digital campaigns have surpassed those of prominent rivals like Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), and Indian Political Action Committee (IPAC) since May 2018. Google’s broad definition of political ads encompasses a wide range of content, including commercial ads featuring actor-politicians.

Google’s definition of political ads includes ads placed by news organisations, government publicity departments, and even commercial ads featuring actor-politicians.Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are the states that top the list in terms of ads expenditure on states for the BJP.

Congress takes the second spot with the party spending ₹49 crore in the period.

Out of the total 217,992 content pieces categorized as “political advertisement” by Google, the BJP published over 161,000 (73% share) during this period. The party’s advertising efforts were predominantly aimed at residents of Karnataka, with spending totaling Rs 10.8 crore, followed by Uttar Pradesh (Rs 10.3 crore), Rajasthan (Rs 8.5 crore), and Delhi (Rs 7.6 crore).

According to data from the transparency center, the Congress ranks second in political spending on Google Ads and Google Display & Video 360, with Rs 45 crore. The party published 5,992 online advertisements during this period, comprising just 3.7 percent of the BJP’s ads. Congress’ advertising efforts were mainly concentrated on Karnataka and Telangana (each with over Rs 9.6 crore spending) and Madhya Pradesh (Rs 6.3 crore).

DMK, Tamil Nadu’s ruling party, emerges as the third-largest political advertiser on Google platforms, with a total spending of Rs 42 crore since May 2018. Notably, political advisory firm Populus Empowerment Network contributed Rs 16.6 crore on DMK’s behalf since February this year. Beyond Tamil Nadu, DMK allocated Rs 14 lakh and Rs 13 lakh for digital ads in Karnataka and Kerala respectively. Meanwhile, BRS’s ad expenditure on Google was focused on the November 2023 Assembly elections, totaling over Rs 12 crore, albeit unsuccessfully, as Congress secured victory.

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I am Shivani Arora, a media student who is working as a freelancer Content Writer, news writer and social media handler with different agencies. I am a post graduate student who is self motivated and a hardworking person. My main aim is to excel in my career by learning and exploring new things.
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