Immediately after the horror of the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., the National Rifle Association halted all of its digital advertising, including ads on YouTube, banner ads on websites, and Facebook ads.
Within four days, though, the NRA had returned in force, increasing its advertising aggressively on Facebook, and spending so widely and indiscriminately that its ads on YouTube showed up on videos for school-age kids. According to a previously unpublished review by Pathmatics, a company that scrapes data from online ads, the NRA spent more than six times as much on digital ads after the Parkland shooting than it did in the weeks before it. Its average daily spending in the 24 days before Parkland was $11,300, according to Pathmatics. In the 24 days after its silent period, that average jumped to $47,300.
Nearly all of the increase was on social media, primarily Facebook, where the NRA took its spending from an average of $4,400 a day in the three weeks prior to Parkland to $34,000 a day in the three weeks after the silence. Florida was heavily targeted in the post-tragedy ad burst. The state went from ninth most targeted in January to third between mid-February and mid-March. [Continue reading…]
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