EXCL Dominic Raab massively outspent his rivals on Facebook ads during failed Tory leadership bid

Posted On: 
4th July 2019

Dominic Raab massively outspent his rivals on Facebook advertising during his failed Tory leadership bid, PoliticsHome can reveal.

Dominic Raab spent more than £56,000 in a week during his leadership campaign
Credit: 
PA

The former Brexit Secretary spent a whopping £56,757 getting his message across to users of the site - more than the rest of the candidates combined.

But despite the massive outlay, his campaign was cut short when he was booted out in the second round of voting by MPs.

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A total 22 adverts that were paid for by the Dominic Raab Leadership Campaign 2019 were also removed by Facebook for breaching its advertising policies - a glitch put down to technical details, a Raab campaign source said.

Only Mr Raab, Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid paid for adverts on Facebook during the MPs' section of the leadership race.

Home Secretary Mr Javid only spent around £1,000, while bookies' favourite Mr Johnson's campaign has forked out a total of £6,092 to advertise on the social media platform.

A source from Mr Raab's campaign told this site that they aimed to build as much momentum as possible during the MPs stage, in order to compete with Mr Johnson's heavy online presence that already existed on the social media platform.

He added: "We had the funding, we had the money to do it so it seemed a good way to go out and get people engaged with the campaign."

Jeremy Hunt only started advertising on Facebook once he had made it to the final run-off, and since then has spent £906 on 19 ads.

A spokesperson for Mr Hunt's campaign told PoliticsHome: "The best way to reach people on social media is effective messaging and through earned media and interactions.

“For example #BoJoNoShow received 4.4 million impressions on Twitter and more than 21,000 unique mentions in just one day.

“On the advertising front we are targeting places where we think our members are and this week that includes websites widely read by Conservative audiences.”

According to Facebook data, Mr Hunt’s adverts have been shown most to 18-24-year-old men, followed by the 25-34-year-old male category.

His spokesperson added: “We are not specifically targeting young members, but clearly our content is appealing to young people.

“But from Hastings to Hexham we are determined to ensure as many Conservative members as possible hear Jeremy’s positive message for Britain.”

However, analysis of Facebook data shows that Boris Johnson’s reach has soared past Mr Hunt's, with half of his ads reaching 10,000-50,000 impressions, compared to most of Mr Hunt’s ads being seen between fewer than 1,000 to 5,000 times.