Codebreaker

Google allows ad targeting by congressional district

John Moe Aug 6, 2012

Want to know why Google has plenty of money lying around to make driverless cars and augmented reality glasses? It’s stuff like this. Google says it can now tailor online ads for political candidates so that they only go to people in a particular district. This means that candidates don’t have to spend a bundle on TV advertisements that might blast out to all sorts of districts and instead just pump money into ads for actual potential voters. Even Google ads by zip code can potentially spill into other districts and be a waste of money.
The Hill reports that campaigns are eager to take advantage of the offering.

The National Republican Congressional Committee already is using the feature to buy ads in five Democratic congressional districts. The committee’s video ads target five Democrats—Reps. Nick Rahall (W. Va.) Rep. John Garamendi (Calif.), Mike Michaud (Maine) and Betty Sutton (Ohio)— who voted against a full extension of the Bush tax cuts.

Gerrit Lansing, digital director at the NRCC, said ads targeted by zip code can bleed into other districts and therefore waste money.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee targeted video ads to users in the districts of 23 House Republicans who voted for the tax-cut extension. The ads accuse the lawmakers of siding with millionaires over the middle class and seniors.

Under the Citizens United decision, outside groups are going to spend a fortune on political ads this year so Google employees will all sleep on huge stacks of hundred dollar bills.

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