Advertisers in India spent over Rs. 4 crore for political ads on Facebook last month and more than half of the amount came from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its backers, according to data from Facebook’s Ad Archive report.
A pro-BJP page, Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat, alone spent over Rs. 1 crore for political ads on the social networking platform last month.
While regional parties spent just around Rs. 20 lakh on Facebook, the Congress Party and its backers spent just around Rs. 10 lakh for political ads on Facebook during the same period.
As part of its transparency efforts in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls, Facebook has made it mandatory for anyone who wants to run an ad in India related to politics to first confirm their identity and location, and add a disclaimer, giving more details about who placed the ad.
The Ad Archive report showed that Facebook has started taking down political ads that were placed without a disclaimer including government campaigns like Digital India.
“When an advertiser categorises their ad as being related to politics or an issue of national importance, they are required to disclose who paid for the ad. If an ad ran without a disclaimer, this field will state ‘these ads ran without a disclaimer’,” Facebook said.