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2019 LS Polls: Rs 3.76 cr in political ad spends since Feb - Google India

With the first phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections set to commence on April 11, Google India has come up with an India Transparency Report, with specifics of spends on political ads since February 2019. 

According to the report, political parties and candidates have spent as much as Rs 37,616,400 for 831 political ads on Google in the past month and a half. 

Out of these 831 ads, 554 have been done by the BJP with a total spend of Rs 12,148,600 since February 2019. 

Andhra Pradesh saw the highest investments in political advertising on Google; with total spends of Rs 17,356,100, with YSR Congress based in Andhra and Telangana being among the top spenders. YSR Congress party spent Rs 10,434,500 on 107 advertisements. Meanwhile, the Congress spent only about Rs 54,100 on 14 Google ads. 

The report is part of Google’s initiative to make the Lok Sabha elections transparent. Google enforced its election ads policy for India on February 20, 2019. 

Among ad spends as per geography, after Andhra Pradesh, comes Telangana at Rs 7,278,300, followed by Uttar Pradesh at Rs 1,847,300. Then there are other states such as Maharashtra that has seen spends of Rs 1,719,500 on political advertisements, followed by Bihar at Rs 1,053,300. Delhi’s spends stood at Rs 996,500. The lowest spend of only Rs 800 came from Andaman and Nicobar Islands. 

The election ads policy requires advertisers running election ads in India to provide a pre-certificate issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI), or anyone authorised by the ECI, for each ad they wish to run. Further, Google verifies the identity of advertisers before their election ads run on its platforms. Google platforms are disclosing who has paid for the ad. 

For most ad formats, Google automatically generates a “paid for by” disclosure, using the information provided during this verification process. The disclosure displays the organisation name or individual name to users who see the ad.

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