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For NYC Candidates and Independent Groups, Online Advertising is Part of the Mix

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, September 17 2013

While the bulk of the money spent by candidates in last week's New York City primary battles went to old-fashioned TV ads, the campaigns also used a variety of online advertising strategies. Digging into the campaign expenditure reports, Miranda Neubauer reports on who did what. Read More

A Twitter Sponsored Hashtag That Didn't Work So Well

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, September 5 2012

One of Twitter's new products, sponsored hashtags, places the tag of a customer's choice among the list of trending topics that users see when they access the social network through the web. So clients — like Americans for Prosperity — can pick a topic and invite people to join in. From there, it appears, things can get unpredictable. Read More

Will Online Political Targeting Generate a Voter Backlash?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, August 7 2012

A recent study finds an overwhelming majority of Americans do not want targeted political advertising, but industry insiders dismiss the results. They say that unlike broadcast or direct mail, their ads are delivered anonymously. They're missing another difference: With Internet advertising, the viewer can talk back. And they may be ignoring this at their peril. Read More

As Digital Campaigns Continue, Obama 2012's Looking for Online Ad People

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 5 2012

The point's been made again and again that the Obama campaign basically has a technology startup working in-house, but that's not all: Team Obama looks to want that startup to be able to handle its own full-service digital advertising, too. Read More

[OP-ED] Big Data: What Happens When Elections Become Social Engineering Competitions

BY David Parry | Tuesday, June 26 2012

Courtesy Estate of John Fekner 2008

UT-Dallas assistant professor David Parry argues that big data and message targeting endangers democracy. Read More

At #PDF12, Zac Moffatt Talks Digital Strategy

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 12 2012

Zac Moffatt at Personal Democracy Forum 2012. Photo: Esty Stein / PDM

In a talk on PDF's main stage at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, Mitt Romney's digital director Zac Moffatt delivered a pitch for online advertising. He pointed to survey data that indicates one in three online adults — and a majority of adults at all age levels are online, according to recent Pew data — are completely ignoring "live television," focusing instead on using tools like DVR to skip over ads entirely. The result is an ever-decreasing audience for television ads, something that makes digital work more important than people seem to think, Moffatt said. Read More

Beverage Industry Uses Online Ads to Protect Your Right to 32-Ounce Sodas

BY Nick Judd and Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, June 5 2012

The American Beverage Association released a new spate of online ads to counter New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to ban the sale of large sodas. ABA wouldn't return techPresident's requests for comment, but their ads — with the message "Get the facts about beverages" and links to a site, letsclearitup.org, attacking "myths" about how sodas contribute to obesity — caught our attention on the heels of a full-page New York Times ad from the Center for Consumer Freedom depicting Bloomberg as a nanny. Read More

[CALL - JOIN US]: Thursday, 1 p.m.: What Ad Targeting Is Doing to Democracy

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, May 2 2012

We all know how the Internet is enhancing the power of citizens to band together to take action around common causes. And these days you can hardly spend more than a few minutes online before you bump into some campaign led by consumers taking on a company, demanding changes and often getting them. But what if while all this is going on, a deeper power shift is under way that is quietly tilting the playing field towards anyone with the money and motive to manipulate web users by collecting all kinds of data about them and then assiduously targeting people in ways they're barely aware of? That's just one of the big questions I'm looking forward to covering on this Thursday's PDPlus call with Joseph Turow, author of the valuable new book, "The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth." RSVP here. Read More

Team Obama Spends Big On Digital

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, February 1 2012

There's more to come from recently filed campaign finance reports from the presidential campaigns. Meantime, Politico notes that Barack Obama's re-election effort has so far spent $2.2 million in online advertising, millions more on payroll and $809,000 on computer equipment and software. Read More

Headed Into Iowa Caucus, Santorum Jockeys for Position Online

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, January 3 2012

Rick Santorum Photo: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Just hours away from the outcome of the Iowa caucuses, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's campaign is looking online to make the most of his sudden rise to prominence. Read More