Leave campaign spent £3.5 million on targeted social media adverts
The campaign to Leave the European Union spent nearly half its budget on targeted online advertising, it has emerged.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Vote Leave gave £3.5 million to AggregateIQ, a Canadian consultancy specialising in highly targeted adverts for Facebook.
Data from the Electoral Commission revealed how Vote Leave spent 40% of its £6.8 million budget on AggregateIQ’s work, which relentlessly honed the campaign’s message online.
A senior figure on the Leave campaign said: “Their prime focus was buying and placing ads and optimising them, working out which ones worked best.”
Dominic Cummings, the head of the Leave campaign, wrote in a blog last month that they had fought against the “all-pervasive charlatantry” of the advertising industry by “putting all their money into digital”.
He wrote: “When things are digital you can be more empirical and control the timing. The world of advertising agencies and PR companies were sure we had screwed up because they did not see what we were doing.”
Mr Cummings is featured on AggregateIQ’s website with a quote which says: “Without a doubt, the Vote Leave campaign owes a great deal of its success to the work of AggregateIQ. We couldn’t have done it without them”.
AggregateIQ was set up in 2013 by Zack Messingham, a 34-year-old Canadian digital marketing guru.
The company has no official political affiliations and has worked with campaigns on both the right and left.