Indian political parties and their affiliates have spent Rs 3.76 crore on 831 advertisements on Google since February 19, showed the internet giant’s Transparency Report released on Thursday. While the Bharatiya Janata Party was the top advertiser, the Congress was ranked sixth on the list.
In January, Google had announced an updated election advertising policy to provide comprehensive information and bring more transparency to election advertising on Google platforms. The policy requires advertisers to provide a “pre-certificate” issued by the Election Commission of India, or anyone authorised by the poll panel, for each ad they wish to run.
The political advertisement expenditure was led by the BJP, which spent over Rs 1.21 crore for 554 advertisements, according to the report. The BJP alone accounted for around 32% of the total advertisement expenses on Google. At the second spot was Andhra Pradesh’s YSR Congress Party, which spent over Rs 1.04 crore for 107 ads during the period.
While Pramanya Strategy Consulting Private Limited, promoting the Telugu Desam Party and its chief Chandrababu Naidu, was ranked third with an expenditure of Rs 85.25 lakh, another entity promoting Naidu, Digital Consulting Private Limited, came fourth with a total spending of Rs 63.43 lakh.
Andhra Pradesh will have Assembly elections along with the Lok Sabha elections.
However, the Congress has spent only Rs 54,100 on all Google platforms for 14 advertisements.
Google said it has blocked advertisements of four of 11 political advertisers due to violation of its ad policy, including Ethinos Digital Marketing Private Limited, which stood fifth on the list.