The Advent of Micro-Targeted Political Ads

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Newt Gingrich addresses the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC. (Getty)

It's no secret that Google and Facebook are tracking and selling their users' information for marketing purposes. However, it may come as a surprise that campaigns have been successfully using microtargeting since 2004 to change election outcomes. Political parties extract data from internet users, then sort them into smaller and smaller segments based on demographic and browsing histories, targeting messages that directly relate to what they've been doing online. These segments are so precise that people within the same household will get different ads.

Here to discuss the rise of micro-targeting in the world of political marketing is Colin Delany. Delany is the founder and chief editor of, a site that focuses on the tools and tactics of Internet politics and online political advocacy.


Colin Delany

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

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