Google releases political ad directory

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Google is rolling out the online library of US political ads it promised lawmakers in 2017, along with a report detailing political ad-spending trends across its platforms.

A searchable archive going live Aug 15 will include all ads across Google platforms including Search and YouTube that feature a candidate for a federal elected office or an incumbent officeholder. It includes ads from the end of May onward. Each ad is accompanied by information on who paid for it to run, a broad range indicating how much was spent to deploy it, and a rough idea of how many impressions the ad received. An application programming interface (API) will allow third parties and the public to directly access the archive. “Researchers, political watchdog groups and private citizens can use our data set to develop charts, graphs, tables or other visualizations of political advertising on Google Ads services,” said Michee Smith, the product lead on the company’s transparency report. Google will also release a new report on election advertising similar to those the company releases that tally how much content it has taken down as a result of legal problems and government orders. Users will be able to identify major advertisers and see how spending plays out by state and congressional district. However, Google is not listing "issue ads"  that address a contentious topic but don't support a specific candidate.

Google releases political ad directory Political advertising on Google (see the directory)