N-VA is biggest buyer of political ads on Facebook in the EU
Share article:
Share article:

N-VA is biggest buyer of political ads on Facebook in the EU

Hey big spender: Bart De Wever (N-VA). © Belga

The Flemish nationalist party N-VA is the biggest spender in the EU on political ads on the social media platform Facebook, according to research carried out by AdLens.

In addition, party president Bart De Wever is the biggest spending individual on political ads, having spent €255,411 on Facebook and Instagram between January and July this year.

AdLens is a group of journalists, researchers and data analysts whose aim is to bring more transparency to political advertising on Facebook, in particular in relation to Belgian politicians. However their latest report covers 33 countries in Europe, where N-VA leads the field.

In the seven months studied, N-VA spent €140,916 on Facebook ads (and on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook). In second place comes the Dutch socialist party PVDA, far behind on €35,716. In third place, right-wing Flemish party Vlaams Belang, spending €27,790.

At the bottom of the list, spending only €564, is DéFI, the party that aims to defend the rights of French-speakers in Brussels.

When it comes to the spend of individual politicians, more European names show up.

Behind De Wever comes Wopke Hoekstra (NL – CDA) on €151,819, followed by Peter Mertens (B – PVDA) on €97,565 and Tom Van Grieken (B – Vlaams Belang) on €81,479.

The only other non-Belgians on the top ten list are Kyriakos Mitsotakis (GR – Nea Dimokratia): €68,788 and Jesse Klaver (NL – GroenLinks): €61,045.

It would appear to be fruitless to try to extract any political point from the rankings, given the presence of nationalists, greens, Christian democrats and socialists side by side.

The amount a party spends on Facebook ads is a psephological choice, marking out which audience the party wants to target to harvest votes.

The strong presence of Dutch politicians is explained by the existence of elections in the country this year – something that has not happened in Belgium since 2019.

But Belgian parties will always be high on the list thanks to the very generous system of party financing in this country.

In 2019, about €72.2 million of taxpayer money flowed to the political parties. That generosity is unlikely to come to an end soon, given that it would take a majority of the beneficiaries to agree.

Latest news

Belgian Health Minister wants pharmacists to administer vaccines
Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke has said he wants to change Belgium's law to allow pharmacists to administer Covid-19 vaccines against, ...
Ruined photos from flood victims restored for free
Much of what victims of this summer’s deadly flooding lost is irreplaceable, but when it comes to photographs that were ruined, a Brussels company is ...
New Belgian video game aims to help children who stutter
A new video game by Belgian-American start-up Say It Labs aims to teach children with a stutter various techniques to improve their speech.  ...
More than 1 in 4 Belgians use mobile phones whilst driving
A recent European study into the use of mobile phones whilst driving highlights some alarming results: 26% of Belgians read or send messages on their ...
Belgium in Brief: Memories Of Masks
Belgium's experts are concerned with the rising coronavirus figures. One possible solution could be that, once again, masks are used more widely. ...
Museum Night Fever returns to Brussels on Saturday night
After a break last year, Museum Night Fever 2021 is back again with free visits to 32 museums hosting performances, music and other events. The ...
More than €1.5 billion injected into SNCB
More than €1.5 billion in additional funding has been injected into the Belgian railways, Federal Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet told the House ...
Non-vaccinated applicants no longer welcome at ZNA hospitals in Antwerp
The Antwerp hospital group ZNA is only taking on new employees who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to reporting from VRT. ...
Pharmacies prepare to administer more rapid antigen tests
From November, anyone presenting coronavirus symptoms for less than six days will be able to take a rapid antigen test in a pharmacy, announced the ...
Chocolate, Christmas, and cocaine
Do you consider yourself a news buff? Someone constantly on top of what's going on? Then maybe you have what it takes to ace The Brussels Times ...
Introduction of Covid Safe Ticket leads more in Brussels to get vaccinated
The introduction of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) in the Brussels-Capital Region on 15 October seems to have led to a higher number of residents ...
More and more testimonies, and a second rally against sexual violence in Brussels
A second rally against sexual violence was held in the Brussels neighbourhood of Ixelles on Thursday evening, and a sister-rally was held ...