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Microtargeting for Political Campaigns

Political Microtargeting occurs when our DSP deems an audience as too hyper-targeted.

Our DSP will evaluate the targeting of political campaigns on the ad group level, meaning they will look at what each ad group is targeting and will then determine whether the ad group is considered microtargeting. This means that if the targeted audience and the targeted geo of an ad group is very small (one or two zip codes), then the DSP will shut off the ad group because it infringes on their policies regarding microtargeting. 

Why the DSP Implements This Policy:

  • As an independent and objective platform, we power an open marketplace of ideas.  We do this by supporting political advertising, which is an integral part of political discourse.

  • Unlike mass media advertising, where political debate reduces to broad caricatures and attacks, online ads can enable candidates to address substantive issues.

  • We want to balance the need for relevance with the need for privacy.  We want to curb the inappropriate use of targeting techniques, such as microtargeting.

  • A healthy debate requires diverse opinions. We’re a neutral platform without any political affiliations.

This becomes especially important when advertisers and partners sell political DID or DID Address Match campaigns. DID and DID Address Match target audiences typically have a very nichè audience of devices to begin with, and when a small back geo is also layered onto the targeting of a DID ad group, the DSP will label this ad group as infringing on its microtargeting policies and will shut off the ad group if optimizations/adjustments are not immediately made to the ad group. The platform will even prevent the ad group from being enabled/going live if they determine it to be microtargeted.

We do not allow microtargeting with Political campaigns and the DSP has set a threshold for audience sizes on political campaigns. Specifically, target audiences must be larger than 25,000 targeted individuals for national elections and 10,000 for state and local elections. Targeting refinements and/or optimizations cannot reduce the overall target audience to below 50% of the minimum audience threshold (i.e. 12,500 targeted individuals for national and 5,000 for local). 

In light of this, we recommend running a Display Basic, Competitive or Dominant campaign and utilize demographic targeting (Age 18+ only) within the behavioral ad group. Doing so should open up the targeting to serve to a larger audience. If the geo-targeting is very small (one or two zip codes), the ad group's audience targeting may need to be switched to run of network targeting in order to get the ad group live and serving. 

If the client is adamant about running a Device ID campaign, please note that we will need to add behavioral data elements to our DID audience to expand its size so it does not infringe on microtargeting and will not be at risk of being shut down. We will also need to expand the back geo significantly. If the back geo is too small on a DID or DID Address Match ad group, it could be possible too that even adding these behavioral data segments to the DID audience won't be enough to get above the platform's required person threshold.