Wednesday 16 January 2019

Google reveals details of abortion referendum campaign spending on platform

  • Green Party leader Eamon Ryan welcomes Google’s decision to make the figures public
  • 'An important step in the right direction' - Ryan
Green Party leader, Eamon Ryan
Green Party leader, Eamon Ryan
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

CAMPAIGNERS spent just under €80,000 trying to get their message out through Google advertising during the abortion referendum.

The internet giant has today revealed details of spending on its platforms before a ban on referendum related adverts was introduced it the final weeks leading up to the vote.

Google decided to stop accepting adverts amid concerns about who was placing them and what impact it could have on polling.

Data released today shows a spend across Google platforms of €78,314 which led to over fifteen million impressions.

Reacting to the news, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan welcomed Google’s decision to make the figures public, saying it was "an important step in the right direction".

"Following the globally unprecedented move from Google, Facebook, and Twitter during the referendum to self-regulate and block political advertising in the run-up to the vote, we can now get an idea of the scale of the advertising."

He said there is now a need to "speed up the roll-out of new transparency tools and policies to better understand the utilisation of these platforms as political tools and protect our electoral processes".

"It is about allowing people to make their own minds up without interference from targeted influence campaigns.

"In the run-up to Local and European elections next year, the Government needs to think hard about how online advertising in elections is regulated so the process is transparent and fair," Mr Ryan said.

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