On the Meta platforms Facebook and Instagram, the group - which is listed as a "political organisation" - is the ninth top advertiser over the past week. Clive Palmer's United Australia has spent $88,307 to top the list, followed by the Australian Labor Party at $66,847 and the page of Labor leader Anthony Albanese at $66,818.
With unfiltered visibility and targeted messaging, social media advertising, together with TV, radio and newspaper ads, is now part of modern campaigning.
According to the Facebook Ad Library, the Liberal Party has spent $30,989 over the past week, while Treasurer Josh Frydenberg - who is in trouble in his seat of Kooyong - has spent $21,164 over the same period and the Prime Minister Scott Morrison has spent $17,635 on his "ScoMo" Facebook pages and Instagram account.
Climate-focused fundraising group Climate 200 has decreased its level of spending compared to just before the election was called, but it has still outlaid a considerable $19,135 over the past week. One of the independent ACT senate candidates it backs, David Pocock has dropped his Meta ad spend to just $687 over the past seven days. The former Wallabies captain, who has a large social media following, appears to be focusing at the moment on posting positive content on his pages over advertising. The Liberal senator he is hoping to unseat, Zed Seselja, has spent $1588 over the past week on Meta ads.
But Advance Australia has emerged as a particular political player which focuses on negative attack ads, including provocative anti-Chinese advertising.
Former long-serving Canberra politician Vicki Dunne emerged just before the election as one of Advance Australia's directors shortly after ending her 19-year stint as a member in ACT's Legislative Assembly. The group was warned in March by the Australian Electoral Commission over political advertising depicting Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the side of a truck as voting for Labor. The warning was over the use of an "informal voting" tick on the ballot paper instead of the correct use of numbers.
The truck has been seen touring Canberra and Melbourne.
The Advance Australia Facebook ads currently in circulation are entirely negative and feature various attacks against a possible Labor Greens alliance, as well as continuing depictions of Mr Pocock as a Greens candidate in hiding. Mr Pocock has complained to the Australian Electoral Commission and has also made fun of it on social media.
The Facebook Ad Library shows that Facebook has removed at least one Advance Australia ad because it went against Facebook Advertising Policies.
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