Climate 200, David Pocock flood Facebook and Instagram as ACT senate race heats up | The Canberra Times

news, federal-politics, David Pocock, Zed Seselja, Kim Rubenstein, election, ACT senate, Facebook

Climate-focused fundraising group Climate 200 and one of the independent ACT senate candidates it backs, David Pocock, have flooded the Facebook and Instagram feeds of Canberra with political ads as the ACT Senate race heats up, vastly outspending the Liberal incumbent they are targeting, Senator Zed Seselya. On the Meta platforms, the funding group and Wallabies great are also outspending Labor’s ACT Senator Katy Gallagher, who has a low-budget, but nationally focused social media campaign. As well, the Greens senate candidate Tjanara Goreng Goreng and independent candidate Kim Rubenstein are not spending as big on sponsored Facebook and the more youth-focused Instagram posts less than 90 days out from an expected federal election date. Social media advertising, together with TV, radio and newspaper ads, is now part of traditional campaigning. With campaigning curtailed by COVID-19 and with only two hotly contested senate seats up for grabs, unfiltered visibility and targeted messaging on social media could make all the difference. Climate 200, led by Simon Holmes a Court, backs Mr Pocock and Professor Rubenstein as candidates with “shared values, connection to community, and a viable path to victory.” The ads by Climate 200 and Mr Pocock are the biggest Meta advertising in the ACT overall, ahead of companies such as petroleum giant Shell and the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. MORE NEWS According to Meta’s Ad Library, Climate 200 has spent $54,729 on Facebook and Instagram ads over the past 90 days in the ACT. One in the last week focused on the Prime Minister’s recent apology to women who were bullied or assaulted in Federal Parliament, showed a picture of Brittany Higgins and quoted Grace Tame decrying “performative, last-minute band-aid electioneering stunts.” Climate 200 is big spending and relentless in a targeted push for climate-friendly independent candidates. Nationally, it has spent $222,368 on Meta ads since August 2020 and $34,770 in the past week alone. Significantly more women have seen the Climate 200 ads which have lately promoted Zoe Daniel in Goldstein, Monique Ryan in Kooyong and Allegra Spender in Wentworth. Mr Pocock has spent $14,334 in the ACT over the same period but more than half ($7928) in the past week. The aspiring politician is officially launching his campaign for one of two senate spots this Sunday. Mr Pocock’s Meta ad spending over the past seven days has propelled him into the top 20 Australian advertisers on the platform. The entirely positive ads showing Mr Pocock’s face are mostly seen by women on Instagram and equally among men and women on Facebook. “I think it’s definitely distinct and interesting,” ANU political scientist Professor Ariadne Vromen told The Canberra Times. “He’s following a kind of organizing on the ground campaigning logic where you focus a lot of energy on trying to mobilize a people by social media.” Senator Seselja has spent $8075 on Meta ads over the past 90 days and just $571 in the past week. The senator’s ads contain negative messages attacking the ACT Labor government, the Greens and any possible federal Labor-Green alliance, while the positive messages are about the “delivering for Canberra” and fighting the pandemic. Senator Gallagher appears to be not fighting hard in this space, spending $3950 in Meta advertising since August 2020 and less than $100 in the past seven days on national ads, mostly seen in NSW and Victoria. Professor Rubenstein has spent $2355 on Meta ads since August 2020 and her campaign has not spent anything on Facebook or Instagram ads in the past week. She officially launched her campaign on February 13. The most recent Kim For Canberra ads are positive projections of Professor Rubenstein, but she has also linked to stories and pages of political opponents including Senator Seselja and Pauline Hanson citing them as a need for change. Dr Goreng Goreng has a low-budget Meta campaign, spending $2657 since August 2020 on Facebook and Instagram ads and only shelling out $288 in the past week. The Greens ads in the ACT, according to Meta data, have only been seen by several thousand people with most of them women. Professor Vromen says the full picture is not being seen yet. “The major parties, and that includes the Greens, have brand momentum in that people already know them and see them as part of the political system,” she said. “So once campaigns start properly we will probably see the major parties generating a lot more social media-based advertising.” Billionaire Clive Palmer’s well-funded United Australia Party (UAP) has spent $4099 in the ACT over the past 90 days. Overall, UAP is Australia’s biggest Meta advertiser, spending $513,755 nationally on Facebook over the past 90 days. UAP has also been spending large on national newspaper advertisements, including front page ads. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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