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An Opportunity For Radio As Political Money Moves Away From Facebook.

Campaigns are placing fewer ads on Facebook leading up to the 2022 midterm elections, which could provide an opportunity for radio.

The social network platform played a large role in the battle for political ad dollars in recent election years but has since fallen out of favor with media buyers due to challenges in targeting voters due to new policies at parent company Meta combined with a change in Apple’s privacy settings, according to Adweek.

“The makeup is being washed off this product,” said John Padua, VP of Media Buying at Trilogy Interactive, a political digital agency that supports Democratic candidates, PACs, progressive causes, and legislation.

In 2016 and 2018, Padua estimates that his firm placed 70% to 80% of its ads with Meta, which also owns Instagram. This year, it’s between 15% and 20%.

“Facebook has added so many more stringent guidelines to political buying and, to be honest, Meta and their political blackout at the end of the 2020 electoral cycle soiled a lot of relationships,” Padua explained.

Matthew Hedberg, VP/GM of professional services at data and ID resolution company Semcasting says some of the targeting issues advertisers are now facing when placing ads with Meta are due to Apple’s privacy changes. Meta says the changes would cost the company $10 billion in revenue, Adweek says. Meta is working with the industry and investing in AI to improve targeting and measurement.

Hedberg says the changes “make measurement a much more difficult proposition. It’s difficult for clients trying to build lists. They have a distinct lack of insight which has caused many advertisers to pull back.”

There has only been a 2.4% increase in Facebook ad campaigns among political clients at Semcasting from 2021-2022. Meanwhile, the firm has seen a 29% increase in political clients.

Padua says YouTube has been the preferred social platform when placing political buys. He says the video platform “does a better job of being able to choose channels and where we run our ads. We don’t have to worry about that same echo chamber effect as we do on Facebook.”

Facebook is still a great reach platform for political fundraising, the ad execs say, but not so much anymore as a means to persuade voters.

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