TORY PARTY 'DARK ADS': WHAT ARE THEY AND WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?

Tory Party 'Dark Ads': What are they and what do they look like?
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TORY PARTY 'DARK ADS': WHAT ARE THEY AND WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?



Written by Oscar Henson
07 Wednesday 07th June 2017

As regular Facebook users may have observed, a major trend in political campaigns over the last few years has been the use of 'dark adverts': shady party ads targeted at specific 'key' demographics, often relying on scare tactics and fear mongering to try and coerce uncertain voters. 

Of course, political parties utilising dubious PR tactics is nothing new - but the powerful ability for advertisers to target specific demographics on the basis of their online profile is something new. Parties can now focus the bulk of their advertising budgets at opposition voters in important-to-win marginal constituencies, using messages of fear and uncertainty to try and win them over.

This dubious approach is complicated further by the fact that Facebook adverts are largely unregulated, and are only visible to the specific audiences that have been targeted - so it's very hard for anybody to police their content or hold parties accountable for the messages and arguments they deploy. 

Unsurprisingly, The Tories have been particularly guilty of using Facebook in this way. A recent BBC study revealed that, although all parties have been making regular use of paid posts, the Conservative party stands alone in the sheer volume of posts, and the overwhelmingly negative tone of the messages it conveys. Whereas Labour have generally attempted to show off their party's winning policies and attributes, the Tories have overwhelmingly tried to capitalise on fear and uncertainty surrounding their opposition - particularly Corbyn's leadership and his policies on national security, terrorism and immigration. 

Of course, unless you're a member of a key audience demographic - a working-class labour voter in a marginal constituency, for example - you're unlikely to have seen the Tory dark ads at their most ruthless. So we've hunted down a few to give you an idea of what they look like.

 

 

 

 

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