Petro Poroshenko is one of the most active users of promotion instruments on Facebook; Prosecutor General's Office is seeking new staff and advertisers are mostly ignoring the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, - OPORA continues to analyse activities on public pages writing about politics on Facebook and Instagram.
The review prepared by Civil Network OPORA is based on the data from open library of political advertisement Facebook (Facebook Ad Library) which keeps information about active and inactive advertising related to social issues, elections, or politics for 7 years.
Week figures: audience, geography and expences
From 13,895 to 52,895 * American dollars - this is the amount spent on political advertisement from 27 January to 2 February by 420public Facebook pages. 1639 ads have been broadcasted over this period. The majority of promotion posts, which were activated during this period, costed less than $100 (93% of all political advertisements). Only 83 ads costed more than $100, and 17 of them costed from $200 to $300. 1043 posts were published on Facebook (63.7% of ads), 39 on Instagram (2.3%), and 557 posts were published on both social networks simultaneously (34%).
Administrators of 71 pages either forgot or ignored Facebook requirements (to give information about the customer and indicate that the advertisement is related to social issues, elections or politics). Thus, they published 127 political advertisements without a mandatory description, and got them blocked by Facebook.
Political advertising on Facebook and Instagram is as usual targeted at Kyiv citizens. More than 14% of all ads were targeted at citizens of Kyiv. Similarly to the last week, advertisers were focused on citizens of Lviv (9.6%) and Dnipropetrovsk (9%)oblasts. A big part of political advertising for the period from 27 January to 2 February was targeted at citizens of Odessa (7.1%) and Cherkasy (5.3%) oblasts. Almost no users from Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Kirovohrad and Chernivtsi oblasts were in the focus of political Facebook advertising campaigns (less than 2% of views).
Most of advertisements on Facebook and Instagram are usually targeted at female users. This week, however, the ratio of female to male audience of political advertising was 55.7% and 44.3% respectively. The age of target audience is also the same: women age group is 55-64, men 35-44. 55 ads were launched exclusively for women. However, a series of political advertisements this week was targeted at male audience. Thus, 37 ads could be seen only by men, and some of the most expensive advertisements were targeted at men only (for example, announcement of the extended competition for vacant positions at the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine).
About what and for whom: the most expensive advertising campaigns of the week
TV show page Shuster LIVE (created on 2 March 2010) was had the biggest expences on political advertising this week. Thus, the page aired 38 advertisements costing $1,551 from 27/01 to 02/02. These were short videos of the program itself, where Ukrainian politicians, high-level officials, public figures and experts debated on acute social and political events. It's interesting that all advertisement videos about coronavirus were targeted at women, and videos with Brodskyi vs. Saakashvili, at men.
Kyiv citizens became main target audience of two other advertising posts. One of them was dedicated to the Anniversary of the Battle of Kruty, another - quoted Petro Poroshenko on "Putin's responsibility for aggression against Ukraine." It is interesting that residents of several regions, namely Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhia, Kherson, Odesa, Sumy, Chernivtsi and Zakarpattia oblasts, did not see any advertisements from Petro Poroshenko's page this week.
The page of the former President of Ukraine and the acting MP Petro Poroshenko (created on 12 July 2014) is actively using Facebook tools, and entered the top-5 of biggest advertisers this week. The politician's page paid $ 1,321 for advertising. Besides ads that were broadcast in January, Petro Poroshenko advertised his Telegram channel. The ad was targeted at audience up to the age of 44, mostly male, residing in Kyiv, Lviv oblast, and Ivano-Frankivsk oblast. Private Event - the birthday of his wife Maryna - was also an occasion for advertising. This time it was targeted at elder female users, but from the same regions.
Page Attorney General's Office (created on 28 December 2019), have been actively recruiting prosecutors this week. Thus, it has placed 92 ad posts for recruiting, costing $ 1,296. Each advertisement has some differences in target audiences and coverage. However, the overall picture is as follows. The majority of audience are men aged 35-44 years (24.6%) and 25-34 years (21.5%) from all regions of Ukraine, except for Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
Before the upcoming election campaign, page Women of WILL - I CAN (created on 19 February 2019) advertized itself from 27 January to 2 February. The page description says that it is a “movement of active women, MPs, politicians” that “creates new opportunities for women in society”. The page paid $ 667 for 24 ads. The advertiser is Olha Sytnyk, who, according to the profile information, works in this organization. In fact, these are two messages with the same content, illustrated by different pictures and launched several times with a focus on different regions of Ukraine. Not surprisingly, the advertising was targeted exclusively at female audience. Readers were encouraged to join an online webinar "How to win a local election with a minimal budget without fraud and manipulations" and get a working step-by-step technology to win local elections.
Head of Kharkiv Oblast State Administration Oleksii Kucher targeted his Facebook ads exclusively at Kharkiv citizens. His official page "For Kucher" (created on 18 November 2019) broadcasted 5 promotional posts, costing $ 552. According to the Political Ad Library, the advertisement on page is paid by Yevhenii Borovyk, the payer's contact address is 65 Pushkinskaya St., Kharkiv, 61000, phone +380500641342. The customer advertised his own Facebook page, and according to the sample data, expected to get new female subscribers. He also reported on initiatives: a possibility of repairing the bridge near Zhykhor (the advertiser decided that this information would be more relevant to the male audience); a preparation of the Kharkiv Oblast Development Strategy for 2021-2027(covering male audience under 35, and elder female users); a discussion of road construction through Barabashova with Kharkiv Mayor Hennadii Kernes (covering male audience under 45, and elder female groups); an urge to stop deforestation in the area (similar sampling).
The top twenty of the most generous advertisers, besides Petro Poroshenko's page, also contains Facebook pages of majoritarian MP Anton Yatsenko andof the European Solidarity party. The latter has a post about the highest among all parties in Parliament increase of its rating over six month (three posts, targeted at different regions of Ukraine). All 19 messages on the page of Anton Yatsenkowere targeted at the residents of district where the former MP was nominated to the Parliament (Cherkasy oblast). They concerned initiatives of the politician in the district.
Unlike the previous two weeks, when some pages that spread political discrimination had top spendings on political advertising, the percentage of such posts, according to the Facebook Ad Library report, has significantly decreased over the period from 27 January to 2 February. The following pages were in top 20 Lviv energy, Monitor, Stop the capitulation of Ukraine, and Influential Kiev, which advertised posts with negative content.
As we can see, political advertising on Facebook and Instagram is becoming more and more popular tool of voter engagement for politicians, political parties or pages that publish political content. While monitoring the pages on Facebook during the last 2019presidential and parliamentary elections, the team of Civil Network OPORA has noticed that a big part of expences on political campaigning online is not included into financial reports of candidates. This affects the transparency of election campaign and requires legislative regulation. However, even now, every user can help to create a more transparent information field on social networks. If you see an advertising with political content, but the customer has not added the corresponding flag, take the opportunity to notify Facebook's administration.
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Read previous reviews of political advertising on Facebook and Instagram for January 2020 on our site
* As long as the Facebook Ad Library report does not give precise cost of political advertising, we actually have two amounts for ads costing below $100, the minimum and the maximum (providing their value is between $0 and $100).