The UK government reportedly splashed out close to £100,000 over the past week alone on a series of Facebook ads designed to win over a sceptical public as to the merits of the prime minister’s Brexit deal in the run-up to a crucial parliamentary vote, which has now been delayed.
As the political temperature rises Downing Street sought to win over wider hearts and minds by allocating £96,684 of taxpayer’s cash on a series of adverts with the hashtag #BackTheBrexitDeal, coupled with short videos compiled by the civil service and links to an official government website detailing the proposed future arrangement with Europe, which have been shown over 5m times.
The targeted campaign saw adverts proclaiming how the deal would cut immigration targeted predominantly at men while residents of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were presented with tailor-made videos highlighting specific issues.
Confirmation of the campaign came via Facebook’s own political advertising transparency tools, introduced amid widespread concern that the platform was being co-opted by rogue states and others seeking to sway public opinion.
All this activity appears to have to no avail however as Theresa May dramatically pulled the plug on her plan at the eleventh hour after conceding shed could not get it voted through in its present form.
UK political ads are now labeled with a disclaimer by Facebook in response to public concerns.