11 December 2015
The Leave.EU campaign group has already spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on Facebook advertising ahead of the forthcoming EU referendum, according to the founder of the organisation, showing the extent to which substantial sums are already being invested in fighting a political campaign that has officially yet to begin.
Arron Banks, a major UKIP donor who is also bankrolling Leave.EU, told BuzzFeed News that his organisation is “certainly spending lots of money” on Facebook advertising to increase the number of likes on its page. When it was suggested that the group must have spent at least £200,000 on Facebook, Banks said that figure was “probably on the low side”.
In return for its cash, Leave.EU has built up a following of around 280,000 fans for its Facebook page, where it pushes a selection of anti-EU messages and occasionally bizarre photoshopped graphics. Although it’s impossible to know how many fans have sought out the page of their own accord and how many were enticed in by ads, figures suggest the campaign could be paying at least £1 in advertising for each new Facebook fan.