Ask an agency if they’d take a $374k account, and most won’t return your phone call. But that’s the grand total of Facebook and Google ad spend by Russia Today (RT) and Russian linked ad accounts.
In the world of advertising, it’s nothing.
Trump spent $94 million over the course of two years online.
MyPillow.com (the company that settled a lawsuit with the FTC over product claims) spent $101 million in advertising for that same timeframe.
While the principle of Russian meddling is important, the impact from that amount of spend is 0.37% of MyPillow.com
0.37% of just one shockingly bad advertiser.
Conspiracy theories are newsworthy and fun (are wives Ivana and Melania Slovakian KGB informants?).
But when it comes to data-driven advertising, $374k is not enough to swing an election compared to $94 million from Trump himself.
1,000 new employees at Facebook soon to be devoted to this effort? They will likely spend 95% of their time on measurement controls and QA versus Russian oversight.
Because the 3,000 ads that FB discovered: at four minutes of review per ad, that’s 200 man hours.
Add some coding, dev, and algorithms. Set up twitter firehose account matching algorithms, and you’ve got enough work to keep 25 people busy. Maybe.
“There’s a higher probability of getting a hole in one in golf versus that Russian ad spend swinging an election where 139 million people voted,” said CEO of C3 Metrics advertising attribution data cloud Mark Hughes. “Basic mathematical facts of reach, frequency have to move a prospect through the funnel from awareness, to interest, to desire, to action. I bought a pair of blue suede boots from the Thursday Boot company because of Facebook ads…but they probably showed me 75+ ads. The media, and even marketers can forget that the world is not a last click, instantaneous world when it comes to marketing. Conversions have funnels, they take time, and they take money.”
Do the math: Putin’s puny ad budget didn’t do anything.
At least for now…The White House adult day care center is still open.