Political ads on Meta platforms in Georgia (June 2023)
Meta's political ads library (Ad Library) includes sponsored posts about elections and social and political issues and has been operating in Georgia since August 2020. Its purpose is to ensure the transparency of information about advertisers of political and social content for users of its platforms and other interested actors. International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), based on the mentioned data, presents an overview of the number of advertisements placed on Facebook and Instagram platforms in Georgia, their advertisers, and costs.
Meta considers sponsored content as a political and social ad if:
- It is made by, on behalf of or about a candidate for public office, a political figure, a political party, a political action committee or advocates for the outcome of an election to public office;
- It is about any election, referendum or other voting, including voters' awareness-raising and mobilization campaigns;
- It is about any social issue in any place where the ad is being run.
According to Meta rules, advertisers with social and political content must indicate that the post is about elections, political and/or social issues. Moreover, the platform reserves the right to suspend the advertisement in case of a violation of this rule. The Ad Library includes information on all ads posted on Meta's platforms that have been flagged as social/political ads by the advertiser or deemed as such by the platform itself. After the expiration date, they are stored in the library archive for 7 years. Ads not marked as having social/political content disappear from the library after the expiration date, and information about their advertisers and the amount spent is unavailable.
According to Meta's Ad Library, in June 2023, 331 pages posted social/political ads on Facebook and Instagram platforms for users in Georgia. 2,491 ads placed by these pages in the given period can be searched in the Ad Library. Their total value is up to 68,333 USD. 59% of the mentioned amount comes from the 15 pages listed below.
Quantitatively, most advertisements were placed on the pages of media outlets. However, the average amount spent by them on one ad was lower than the average amount spent on each ad placed by politicians and political associations.
The ruling Georgia Dream party or its representatives, Georgia's government (the Administration of the Government and Ministries), and pro-government media outlets spent the most finances on political advertisements.
In June, political parties and their representatives placed ads valued at 22,803 to 24,486 USD. The ruling Georgian Dream party and its representatives spent 17,596 to 18,388 USD. As for the opposition parties and their representatives, they jointly spent 5,207 to 6,098 USD.
Media outlets spent 12,171 to 12,666 USD on social and political ads during the same period. Television media spent the most. In particular, among the media outlets in the Ad Library, Imedi TV spent the most - 36-38 % of all expenses. POSTV was second with a 30-31% share, followed by Formula with 12-13%.
Social and political ads placed on Facebook and Instagram for the Georgian audience in June 2023, by their number, value and placing actors (source: Meta Ad Library)
According to the regional distribution of advertising expenses, more than half of the costs come from the capital Tbilisi. The regions of Imereti and Adjara follow it, and their shares in the total expenditures of June are 10 to 12 percent.
Percentage distribution of political and social ads spending on Facebook and Instagram in the regions of Georgia (June 2023)