Barack Obama's campaign is gradually edging towards the $5.5 million mark. The Democratic presidential hopeful's campaign has spent about $5.45 million according to the latest Federal Election Commission filings that report online ad expenditures into August. As always, though, there's some lag time, so expect more August expenditures to show up in future reports, and in turn, in ClickZ's Campaign '08 Obama Spend-O-Meter.
In keeping with the campaign's ongoing approach, Google is getting the lion's share, with a new total of $3,311,253. Yahoo and local media sites (via local media firm, Centro) also top the list. Other media firms that continue to appear in FEC filings: Microsoft (MSN search most likely), Facebook, CNN.com, and Community Connect, publisher of BlackPlanet.com.
Obama for President January-August 2008
Broadband Enterprises: $80,000
Community Connect (BlackPlanet.com): $64,420
The thing to remember is that with Google, some of the money is trickling down to other sites via the AdSense network.
How do I know? Well, Obama's campaign is running lots and lots of display ad impressions, according to Nielsen Online. However, ad networks are getting very little Obama grease if the FEC reports are any indication (Advertising.com and Drive PM have taken in less than $100,000 all together and Valueclick hasn't been listed at all). I think the FEC reports are the best indication we have, considering the campaign won't talk. So, I've deduced that many if not most of those display ads are running through Google, and since Google doesn't run display on its site, other publishers must be receiving some of that money through the AdSense network.
Hey, what about John McCain's online ad spending? Is this yet another form of liberal media bias? Nope. McCain's campaign hasn't broken out online ad expenditures in FEC filings.
UPDATE: I just got an e-mail from a company that says it's received more from the Obama camp than I've reported here. To reiterate, some expenditures for previous months haven’t been reported yet by the campaign in its FEC filings. There’s only some August data available and no September online ad expenditures reported yet.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
March 19, 2014