The AdLens report on political ads on Facebook, March 2021

Analysis of Belgian political parties’ advertising

Parties spent €420,583 in March.

N-VA

145,502 (-€46,224 compared to February). From January to March 2021, the N-VA spent €500,276 on Facebook ads.

Vlaams Belang

90,877 (-€28,644 compared to February). From January to March 2021, Vlaams Belang spent €335,921 on Facebook ads.

PVDA

49,838 (+1,708 € compared to February including PVDA and Redfox België). From January to March 2021, PVDA spent €156,225 on Facebook ads.

Vooruit

34,825 (+€13,600 compared to February). It should be noted that the s.pa officially became the Vooruit on Sunday 21st of March. The advertising around the party’s name change alone explains this increase. From January to March 2021, the Vooruit / s.pa spent €72,646 on Facebook ads.

Open Vld

27,723 (+€5,858 compared to February). From January to March 2021, the Open VLD spent €66,824 on Facebook ads.

Groen

20,320 (-€14,837 compared to February). From January to March 2021, Groen spent €72,953 on Facebook ads.

CD&V

16,609 (+€2,213 compared to February). From January to March 2021, CD&V spent €46,244 on Facebook ads.

MR

10,933 (-€806 compared to February). From January to March 2021, the MR spent €38,048 on Facebook ads.

PTB

10,755 (+ €2,760 compared to February including PTB, Comac and RedfoxFR). From January to March 2021, the PTB spent €41,977 on Facebook ads.

CDH

7,224 (- €1,220 compared to February). From January to March 2021, the CDH spent €22,383 on Facebook ads.

Ecolo

2,454 (+€488 compared to February). From January to March 2021, Ecolo spent €5,885 on Facebook ads.

DEFI

1,678 (+659 € compared to February). From January to March 2021, Défi spent €4,079 on Facebook ads.

PS

1,479 (+€594 compared to February). From January to March 2021, PS spent €3,969 on Facebook ads.

ProDG

366 (+€304 compared to February).

Analysis of the most highlighted political figures

Bart De Wever (N-VA) with his 23 advertisements for a total of €37,777

Individual ads most spent

€ 10,000 — link to the ad
€ 8,000 — link to the ad
€ 5,600 — link to the ad

Analysis of political advertisements in European countries

In March, €593,177 (-€69,096 compared to February) was spent on political ads on Facebook in Belgium. In the first three months of 2021, €1,821,997 was spent on political ads on Facebook. Belgium is the seventh largest European country to spend on this social network (it was eighth last month).

Analysis of the share of genuinely political advertisements

The case of the Netherlands: the final sprint

As mentioned above, the Dutch elections were held between 15 and 17 March. In the days leading up to the elections, parties invested heavily in Facebook. Indeed, as the graph below shows, the beginning of March was characterized by spending equivalent to €100,000 for all actors. The trend gradually accelerated to reach a peak on 16 March, when €306,404 was spent in one day, only to drop drastically on 18 March, the day after the elections. By then, the various actors were investing only one tenth of what had been spent on 16 March.

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AdLens

AdLens

AdLens is a team of activists, journalists, researchers, data analysts. We work together for more transparency of political ads on Facebook.