Donald Trump's campaign turned the online ad spending tables in June. The Republican presidential nominee's campaign spent nearly four times as much on digital ads last month as the combined spending by Hillary Clinton and the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of the campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
However, perpetuating the massive gap between the two campaigns in TV spending, the Clinton camp spent millions on TV commercials in June while the Trump campaign maintained its long-standing avoidance of TV spending.
According to Ad Age analysis of Federal Election Commission reports reflecting spending in June, the Trump campaign paid San Antonio-based firm Giles-Parscale $1.63 million for digital ads and consulting. And the spending is noticeable. Online ads from the Trump campaign began surfacing in mid-June, according to digital-ad-tracking firm Moat Pro, and they continue to dot the web. Many of the ads appear to be re-targeted to people who have visited the Trump campaign website.
The Trump camp also spent around $29,000 on Facebook advertising in June, which it purchased directly.
Recent online display ads from Donald J. Trump for President feature the real estate mogul, often in his signature red ballcap, along with simple messages such as "Making America great starts with you," and "Aspire to greatness." Some attack the Democratic nominee with the Trump campaign's "Crooked Hillary" mantra, declaring, "Only Trump can stop Crooked Hillary." Another ad promises, "Great deals create new jobs." Nearly all the Trump ads currently running include a "Donate" button.
The Trump campaign spent more than $842,000 on website and digital consulting with Giles-Parscale in April and May, though it is unclear if any of that money went towards online ad buys. An additional $35,000 in April went to Draper Sterling, a little-known company the campaign paid for online ad services. FEC filings show no spending with the Mad Men-inspired company since then.
The Clinton campaign and Hillary Victory Fund, meanwhile, dropped only around $425,000 on online ads in June in total, with the campaign spending $353,000 and the fund spending around $73,000. All of that money went to Bully Pulpit Interactive, the digital agency chosen by the campaign and the fund to handle online ads in the 2016 race. Overall, the two Clinton organizations spent millions on digital ads throughout the primary.
Despite the Trump campaign's digital ad spending lead in June, the Clinton camp is miles ahead of the Republican hopeful when it comes to TV ad spending. In June, the Clinton campaign on its own paid television media agency GMMB $17.5 million, according to the most recent FEC filing. FEC data shows the Trump campaign spent nothing on TV last month.